In this radical reinterpretation, Mr. Thompson argues that Melville, seeking to disguise his agonized conviction of the cruelty and malice of God, consistently satirized Christian doctrine. He endeavors to show that Melville resorted to literary deceptions that could simultaneously hoodwink and satirize the point of view of his orthodox readers. This bold challenge to the conventional interpretation of Melville is brilliantly presented and fully supported by external and internal evidence in such a way as to reveal a sinister intent in all of the major narratives from "Typee" through "Billy Budd."Originally published in 1952.The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.