Reading progress update: I've read 145 out of 752 pages.

Moby-Dick (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) - Herman Melville

That great America on the other side of the sphere, Australia, was given to the enlightened world by the whaleman. [...] The whale-ship is the true mother of that now mighty colony. Moreover, in the infancy of the first Australian settlement, the emigrants were several times saved from starvation by the benevolent biscuit of the whale-ship luckily dropping anchor in their waters. The uncounted isles of all Polynesia confess the same truth, and do commercial homage to the whale-ship. that cleared the way for the missionary and the merchant, and in many cases carried the primitive missionaries to their first destinations.


For all that the chapter is titled "The Advocate", this is the most damning indictment of the whaling industry that I have ever read.