Work of the Fellows: Monographs

The Apotheosis of Captain Cook: European Mythmaking in the Pacific

By Gananath Obeyesekere (NHC Fellow, 1989–90)

Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992

From the publisher’s description:

Here Gananath Obeyesekere debunks one of the most enduring myths of imperialism, civilization, and conquest: the notion that the Western civilizer is a god to savages. Using shipboard journals and logs kept by Captain James Cook and his officers, Obeyesekere reveals the captain as both the self-conscious civilizer and as the person who, his mission gone awry, becomes a “savage” himself.

In this new edition of The Apotheosis of Captain Cook, the author addresses, in a lengthy afterword, Marshall Sahlins’s 1994 book, How “Natives” Think, which was a direct response to this work.

Awards and Prizes
Louis Gottschalk Prize (1994)
PROSE Award (1992)
Subjects
History / Maritime History / James Cook /

Obeyesekere, Gananath (NHC Fellow, 1989–90). The Apotheosis of Captain Cook: European Mythmaking in the Pacific. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992.