The hunt for the great white whale.

The hunt for the great white whale.

Credit:

Kadumago/Alamy Stock Photo

August 1 marks the 200th anniversary of Herman Melville’s birth. To celebrate, we’re revisiting our Peabody Award-winning American Icons hour on his masterpiece, “Moby-Dick."

Melville's white whale survived his battle with Captain Ahab only to surface in the works of contemporary filmmakers, painters, playwrights and musicians. Kurt Andersen explores the influence of this American Icon with the help of Ray Bradbury, Tony Kushner, Laurie Anderson and Frank Stella. Actor Edward Herrmann is our voice of Ishmael and Mark Price narrates David Ives' short play “Moby-Dude.”

Produced for PRI with executive producer/writer Julie Burstein; director Kerri Hillman; writer Peter Clowney; consulting producer Mary Beth Kirchner; technical director Leital Molad; and writer Edward Lifson.

(Originally aired December 4, 2004)

Related Stories