With 40 books, 2 encyclopaedias and 16 cartoon books, Cousteau team has published books each year since 1946, date of the first one.
Captain Cousteau dedicated a large part of his life to informing the public about the dangers that human beings pose to Nature. From the beginning of his adventures, he understood that communication is the key to protecting the environment. To him, a well-informed public can save the planet. That is why the slogan of Cousteau Society is " To know, to love, to protect." The main goal of the Cousteau organizations is to preserve the planet for future generations by making the men and women of today more aware. The written word is a big part of this task; it touches fewer people than television but more deeply.
There have been fifty books published by Cousteau, and two encyclopaedias, the twenty-volume The Ocean World of Jacques Cousteau and the 26-volume Planet Ocean, in Europe and, in addition, 16 cartoon books recounting the adventures of the Cousteau teams and a series of books for young people. These books have been published in 12 languages. In the US, The Cousteau Society publishes a magazine for young people, Cousteau Kids, as well as the membership publication Calypso Log. Many of the Captain's films have also been transformed into books.
The first book by Captain Cousteau, Par 18 mètres de fond (10 Fathoms Down), was published in 1946 after the short film of the same name. Thereafter, books came out nearly every year. His last book, L'Homme, la pieuvre et l'orchidée (The Human, The Orchid and The Octopus), was released in France just after his death in 1997, and now available for the first time in the USA (Buy the book at Amazon or at Barnes & Noble
About the The Human, The Orchid and The Octopus
«Cousteau consecrated his life to teaching the world about marvels that are at once exotic to us and yet ordinary in the abyss of the ocean. Through his lyrical writings and his films that took your breath away, he placed the underwater world at the door of an audience as extensive as the oceans themselves. I always learned with him.» AL GORE
«As this rich new book reminds us, Cousteau was utterly trustworthy, a figure, like Rachel Carson, moved by no desire deeper than to appreciate the world around, to share that love, and thus to protect it. He was the quintessential explorer...Cousteau divided his career between two tasks, equally necessary: getting people to marvel at the beauty of the oceans, and then pointing out how we were destroying them. It was as if the earliest explorer of the North American continent was simultaneously cataloguing its vast buffalo herds and watching them die...No explorer has ever been faced with quite such a dilemma, and Cousteau handled it superbly.» BILL MC KIBBEN, author of Deep Economy and The End of Nature, from the foreword.
«Cousteau´s reverence for life´s miracles—embodied by the evolutionary wonders of the human, the orchid and the octopus - shines through in this eloquent testimony on the importance of pursuing higher ideals, particularly the preservation of the oceans and the natural world for future generations.» Publishers Weekly
«Fresh and stinging...Indelible descriptions of the glory of the undersea world are matched by prescient observations and arresting analysis...[An] electrifying, many-faceted masterwork.» Booklist
«Eloquent and at times almost poetical...This worthwhile look back at the French scientist who taught us to love scuba diving and the ocean raises questions still highly relevant ten years later.» Library Journal
The Captain's books about marine animals present accurate observations of animals in their own element, animals that were often poorly known, even misunderstood by the public. Along with the science (renowned experts usually went along on the voyages), readers enjoyed the humour and liveliness of the Captain's and his companions' accounts. The books are interesting to all ages. They hold a thousand and one tales about the behaviours of the animals being observed. The books also include superb colour photos because, as the Captain said, " People protect what they love ".