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St. Louis County Library Foundation’s Westfall Politics & History Series and the Missouri History Museum present renowned historian Hampton Sides for a discussion and signing of “The Wide Wide Sea: Imperial Ambition, First Contact and the Fateful Final Voyage of Captain James Cook.”

The event will take place on Tuesday, April 16 in the Lee Auditorium at the Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63112.

Hampton Sides talk will start at 6:30 p.m. followed by a book signing session at 7:30 p.m. 

Starting at 5:00 p.m. the History Museum will offer a happy hour with food and drink for purchase from the Key Bistro. The Library & Research Center will offer a Historian’s Corner presentation and other pop-up activities. 

The program is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase at the event from Left Bank Books. 

Hampton Sides is best-known for his gripping non-fiction adventure stories set in war or depicting epic expeditions of discovery and exploration. He is an acclaimed journalist and the author of the bestselling histories “Ghost Soldiers,” “Blood and Thunder,” “On Desperate Ground,” and “Hellhound on His Trail.” 

Sides’ latest book, “The Wide Wide Sea,” is an epic account of the most momentous voyage of the Age of Exploration, which culminated in Captain James Cook’s death in Hawaii, and left a complex and controversial legacy still debated to this day.

On July 12th, 1776, Captain James Cook, already lionized as the greatest explorer in British history, set off on his third voyage in his ship the HMS Resolution. Two-and-a-half years later, on a beach on the island of Hawaii, Cook was killed in a conflict with native Hawaiians. How did Cook, who was unique among captains for his respect for Indigenous peoples and cultures, come to that fatal moment?

Hampton Sides’ bravura account of Cook’s last journey both wrestles with Cook’s legacy and provides a thrilling narrative of the titanic efforts and continual danger that characterized exploration in the 1700s. At once a ferociously-paced story of adventure on the high seas and a searching examination of the complexities and consequences of the Age of Exploration, “The Wide Wide Sea” is a major work from one of our finest narrative nonfiction writers.

Program sites are accessible. With at least two weeks' notice, accommodations will be made for persons with disabilities. Call 314-994-3300 or contact us

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