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Monday, May 10 at 9 p.m. – American Experience "Into the Deep: America, Whaling & the World"

(Rochester, NY) From filmmaker Ric Burns, “Into the Deep: America, Whaling & the World,” tells the thrilling and epic story of three centuries of American whaling and the unique relationship between American whalers and the giant creatures they hunted. The hunt for these mysterious, mammoth beings helped fuel the expansion of the American economy — propelled tiny backwater ports like Nantucket and New Bedford to the unrivalled center of the whaling world — and pioneered the first truly global enterprise America ever knew. At the height of the whaling industry, U.S. whaleships encircled the globe, a massive state-of-the-art fleet crewed by highly-skilled mariners whose ever-widening search for whales enabled them to chart the seven seas. The magnificent creatures were slaughtered for the precious oil that filled their massive heads, the high-quality illuminant that lit the drawing rooms of Europe and greased the wheels of the Industrial Revolution. “Into the Deep: America, Whaling & the World airs Monday, May 10 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV (DT 21.1/ cable 1011 and 11). 

Few aspects of the American experience have struck more deeply into the imagination of the American people — or resonated more profoundly with deepest American hopes, fears and dreams — than the savagely primal, unfathomably limit-testing experience of whaling. Says filmmaker Burns, “The epic story of whaling is intimately bound up with the story of America, in strange and telling ways: as a riveting case study in maritime culture at its most extreme — as a dark and shining parable of American capitalism on the rise — and as an allegory for the American, and the human, experience — long before a restless sometime whale man and would-be writer named Herman Melville ever went to sea.”

Pictured: A 19th-century depiction of whaling
Credit: Courtesy of the Nantucket Historical Association


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