A Historical Dictionary of the U.S. Merchant Marine and Shipping Industry: Since the Introduction of Steam

A Historical Dictionary of the U.S. Merchant Marine and Shipping Industry: Since the Introduction of Steam

A Historical Dictionary of the U.S. Merchant Marine and Shipping Industry: Since the Introduction of Steam

A Historical Dictionary of the U.S. Merchant Marine and Shipping Industry: Since the Introduction of Steam

Synopsis

A foremost authority has written the first comprehensive reference of the U.S. Merchant Marine and American shipping from the introduction of steamships to today's diesel containerships--showing the impact of politics, economics, and technology on maritime history during the last two centuries. Over 500 entries describe people, private companies, business and labor groups, engineering and technological developments, government agencies, terms, key laws, landmark cases, issues, events, and ships of note. Appendices include a chronology, diagrams of government organizations, and lists of business and labor groups by founding dates. An unusually extensive index lends itself to the varying research interests of students, teachers, and professionals in maritime and economic history, business, labor-government-relations, and military studies.

Excerpt

Readers have before them a road map through merchant shipping. This historical dictionary presents in alphabetical order the basic historical facts about the U.S. merchant marine and shipping since the introduction of steam until today. The focus has been on the institutions and the persons involved in merchant shipping, in both government and private business. Inevitably the nuts and bolts of the subject have taken prominence, yet, to avoid a bland compilation of dry facts, the dictionary, whenever possible, has tried to present, or at least to suggest, the passion and high drama of the struggles for survival in one of the riskiest and most volatile businesses in the world.

No comparable reference work exists for merchant shipping, a subject made particularly difficult by the lack of a single overriding institution, as has been the case with the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army. The failure to grasp the nature of merchant shipping has led to excessive compartmentalization, so that its individual components generally are portrayed independently of its other aspects. For the first time this historical dictionary attempts to integrate the entire subject, making easier the task of all those who are searching for additional information on merchant shipping. Certainly in my case, the availability of this dictionary would have saved considerable time and effort when writing my previous book, The Rise and Decline of U.S. Merchant Shipping in the Twentieth Century (1992). The historical dictionary provides the reader with brief accounts of the following topical groupings within merchant shipping: companies; labor organizations (see Appendix C); major legislation and court cases; key individuals, both private and government; agencies (see Appendix B); ships; and shipping terms.

The reader has the right to expect accounts of the above, but this historical dictionary goes beyond the conventional and breaks new ground by including for the first time capsule accounts on conferences (over two dozen are discussed) and business groups (see Appendix C).

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