James Cook Was A Man Of Many Accomplishments

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James Cook was a man of many accomplishments. As an 18th century explorer and navigator, Captain Cook discovered, mapped, and charted New Zealand and Australia on his ship Endeavor. Later, his voyages provided the first accurate map of the Pacific. Scholar, Alistair Maclean wrote, “it was not what Cook said or thought that raised him to the ranks of the immortals: it was what he did” (Maclean 11). Cooks vast accomplishments have been studied and analyzed by many historians, one of whom even dedicated four decades of his life on his research of Cook. Some think that James Cook was a “genius” (Beaglehole 702), as well as “the last of the great early navigators and the first of the modern scientific explorers” (Gould 15). Most historians would agree with these statements but still question some of his actions. Other historians, question his findings, accomplishments, and legacy. The present paper will examine books and articles written by historians in different time periods to get a sense of the legacy of Captain James Cook and its controversies.
Although many books have been written about James Cook, many scholars view Beaglehole’s The Life of Captain James Cook as the acknowledged classic work on the subject matter. His 750-page book, published in 1974, is filled with definitive descriptions and great detail regarding Captain Cook and his career. Beaglehole spent over forty years of his life (twenty of which were spent in archival collection and study) researching
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