Harman Patil

A Captain's Duty

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Language  English
Publication date  April 6, 2010
Pages  304 pp.
Author  Richard Phillips
Publisher  Hyperion Books
3.8/5 Goodreads

Country  United States
Subject  Piracy
Media type  Hardcover
Originally published  6 April 2010
Genre  Non-fiction
OCLC  674694313
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Similar  Richard Phillips books, Non-fiction books

A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea is a book by Captain Richard Phillips, the captain of the container ship MV Maersk Alabama when it was hijacked in 2009. It was written with Stephan Talty and published by Hyperion on April 6, 2010 (and on audio by Tantor).


The book tells the story of Phillips' capture and hostage-taking by Somali pirates in April 2009. It alternates between his five-day ordeal and the plight of his family in Vermont, watching the drama unfold on cable news. ABC News reported that the publication of his book coincided with a rise in concern about piracy.


Phillips was a mariner of 30 years' experience when his ship was taken. He took extensive security precautions to keep his crew safe and hidden, leaving himself as the only possible hostage. This led to an ordeal of several days in a lifeboat in the hands of pirates, whom Phillips portrays as alternately conciliatory, vicious, and unfocused.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy assembled a large task force, and tensions steadily rose, as did Phillips’ fear for his life. The book details Phillips' attempted escape and eventual rescue by U.S. Navy SEALs, and portrays Phillips' wife Andrea as loyal and strong-willed.

Film Adaptation

Columbia Pictures optioned the book and acquired the life rights to Phillips in spring 2009. In March 2011, it was announced that Barkhad Abdi would star as the lead Somali pirate, Tom Hanks would star as Phillips and Faysal Ahmed as Najee in a Columbia film based on the hijacking and Phillips's book, scripted by Billy Ray, and produced by the team behind The Social Network. The film, entitled Captain Phillips, was released in October 11, 2013 to widespread critical acclaim.


A Captain's Duty Wikipedia

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