The grandest of lives: eye to eye with whales.

The grandest of lives: eye to eye with whales. Douglas H. Chadwick.

San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 2006. Octavo, black and white illustrations, fine copy in dustwrapper.

Chadwick has followed and reported on whales for more than a decade, and in "The Grandest of Lives" he offers a fascinating insider's view of modern-day scientific whale observation - from data gathering to spirited scientific debate to expedition storytelling. In detailed portraits of five whale species that represent a cross-section of the forms and lifestyles of cetaceans worldwide - the humpback, northern bottlenose, blue whale, minke whale, and orca - Chadwick moves deftly from natural history to more personal observations, clearly communicating his fondness and admiration for these mammoth masters of the sea, as well as the sheer joy of being among them.

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