This is the second book by Tuchman I’ve read – The Guns of August being the other.
I like her no-nonsense methodology; she cuts straight to the facts, dismisses pedantry, is interested in the unusual and is people oriented. She can be very dense at times but she expects a lot from her reader.
I like that she looks at the century through the eyes of one central figure (a unique approach).
I love his description of the herds of whales, especially the scene describing the newborn calf, its tail still folded from having been so long gestating. There is a beautiful tenderness to all this and it’s very human-like. The large males with their harems, the riotous young males like collegiate hooligans, the old, wise, lone men.
All that juxtaposed with Pip alone at sea, shapes moving below him; helpless.