Quotes by: Nathaniel Philbrick

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Nathaniel Philbrick
Nathaniel Philbrick in 2004
Born (1956-06-11) June 11, 1956 (age 60)
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Occupation Novelist, historian
Nationality American
Period 1984–present
Spouse Melissa Douthart Philbrick
Children 2

One of the questions I face when working on a book about a historical event is whether I should visit the actual place that I'm writing about. No matter how scrupulously maintained a historic house or battlefield may be, it is nothing like it was in the long-ago past.
Nathaniel Philbrick
In the years to come, the combination of climate change and population growth could have a devastating effect on the planet and, needless to say, on humanity.
Nathaniel Philbrick
If you live on Nantucket, you can't avoid its history, and 'Moby Dick' is the way most of us get into Nantucket's history.
Nathaniel Philbrick
I consider myself a writer who happens to write about history, rather than a historian. I was an English major in college. What I've learned about history is in the field, so to speak. Going into the archives and working with it directly.
Nathaniel Philbrick
The great lesson I get from 'Moby-Dick' is that when the times are bad, when there is great foreboding, there are still ways to go about living. It's through Ishmael that I find a kind of overall cosmic approach to a meaningful life in this meaningless world.
Nathaniel Philbrick
As a former English major, I have always been fascinated by the connections between literature and history.
Nathaniel Philbrick
Writing can't be too calculated. My best writing is when I set it aside, move on. It's not when I'm crafting a sentence, thinking about what word should follow another.
Nathaniel Philbrick
Instead of being a page-turner, 'Moby-Dick' is a repository of American history and culture and the essentials of Western literature. The book is so encyclopedic that space aliens could use it to re-create the whale fishery as it once existed on the planet Earth in the midst of the 19th century.
Nathaniel Philbrick
Martin Scorsese, everything he does, I've got to see. And Jack Nicholson, I've got to see what he does.
Nathaniel Philbrick
A survival tale peels away the niceties and comforts of civilization. Suddenly, all the technology and education in the world means nothing. I think all of us wonder while reading a survival tale, 'What would I have done in this situation? Would I have made it?'
Nathaniel Philbrick
Whatever you read, there's no better place to read than the cockpit or the berth of a boat. It's kind of like being in a womb.
Nathaniel Philbrick
As long as I can remember, I've been writing - first poems, then stories, and by my early teenage years I was also in love with sailing.
Nathaniel Philbrick
I follow the Patriots, but the Steelers were my first and true love. I still have a 'Terrible Towel.'
Nathaniel Philbrick
Even though I hadn't read a word of it, I grew up hating 'Moby-Dick.'
Nathaniel Philbrick
'Moby-Dick' has a remarkable way of resonating with whatever is going on in the world at that particular moment.
Nathaniel Philbrick
Some of my books sort of have a provocative take. Sometimes you find interesting things about characters that show they weren't necessarily the way people usually see them. It can make for lively conversations, but that's great. Spark a little controversy, get people to think about it. That's what it's all about.
Nathaniel Philbrick
XTC is my favorite band; I'm a huge Neil Young fan, Jayhawks, all that type of stuff. I like Death Cab for Cutie, also Ryan Adams. I try to impress my children: 'Have you listened to such-and-such?' They're not impressed.
Nathaniel Philbrick
For me, 'Moby-Dick' is more than the greatest American novel ever written; it is a metaphysical survival manual - the best guidebook there is for a literate man or woman facing an impenetrable unknown: the future of civilization in this storm-tossed 21st century.
Nathaniel Philbrick
You know, if you're at home with children, you lose twenty-five IQ points.
Nathaniel Philbrick
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