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Books and images are also throughout the site under various topics.

Maritime History: Fiction and Non-Fiction

Ships, Shipping, Migration, World Seaports. Six Frigates by Ian W.Toll.Maritime History: Fiction and Non Fiction.

Selections include:

  • The History of Seafaring, Donald Johnson and Juha Nurminen
  • The Voyage of Verrazzano
  • The Sea, A Cultural History by John Mack
  • Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy by Ian W. Toll
  • Maritime History as World History by Daniel Finamore
  • Sailing into the Abyss, William R. Benedetto
  • America and the Sea: A Maritime History, Benjamin Labaree, William M. Fowler, Jr., Edward W. Sloan and John B. Hattendorf
  • Principles of Maritime Strategy, Sir Julian Stafford Corbett,
  • A Maritime History of Baja California, Edward W. Vernon
  • Stockwin's Maritime Miscellany
  • Maritime Southeast Asia to 1500, Lynda Norene Shaffer and Kevin Reilly
  • A history of Arctic Exploration: Discovery, Adventure and Endurance at the Top of the World by Juha Nurminen and Matti Lainema
  • The Foundation of British Maritime Ascendancy: 1755-1851 (Cambridge Military Histories) by Roger Morriss
  • We Were Not the Savages: First Nations History - Collision Between European and Native American Civilizations, Daniel N. Paul
  • Tobacco Coast: A Maritime History of Chesapeake Bay in the Coloniel Era, Arthur Pierce Middleton
  • The Guernseyman (Richard Delancey Novels), C. Northcote Parkinson
  • Stories from the Maine Coast: Skippers, Stips and Storms, Harry Gratwick
  • Maritime Supremacy and the Opening of the Western Mind: Naval Campaigns that Shaped the Modern World, Peter Padfield
  • Beyond the Blue Horizon: How the Earliest Mariners Unlocked the Secrets of the Oceans, Brian M.Fagan
  • A Brief History of Fighting Ships, David Tudor Davies
  • Berenike and the Ancient Maritime Spice Route (California World History Library), Stteven E. Sidebotham
  • The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean, David Abulafia
  • The Riddle of the Compass: The Invention that Changed the World, Amir D. Aczel
Influence of Sea Power on History.

The World of Alfred Thayer Mahan: The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, Admiral Farragus, The Interest of America in Sea Power, The Gulf and Inland WatersShips, Shipping, Migration, World Seaports.

This collection was designed for eReaders and other electronic devices. All books included in this collection feature a hyperlinked table of contents and footnotes. The collection is complimented by an author biography.

Table of Contents:

  • Admiral Farragut (1892)
  • From Sail to Steam (1907)
  • The Gulf and Inland Waters (1883)
  • The Influence of Sea Power Upon History (1890)
  • The Interest of America in Sea Power (1897)
  • Lessons of the War With Spain and Other Articles (1899)
  • The Life of Nelson (1897)
  • The Major Operations of the Navies in the War of American Independence (1913)
  • Sea Power in Its Relations to the War of 1812 (1905)
  • Story of the War in South Africa (1900)
  • Types of Naval Officers (1901)
  • Appendix: Alfred Thayer Mahan Biography

How History's Greatest Pirates Pillaged, Plundered, and Got Away With It: The Stories, Techniques, and Tactics of the Most Feared Sea Rovers from 1500-1800Ships, Shipping, Migration, World Seaports.

Benerson Little
Pirating tactics of the 1500s through 1800s. Follow eighteen of the most famous pirates as they raid major ships and pillage coastal villages. Learn how the pirates approached such invasions and how they managed to elude authorities and sometimes whole navies. Includes archival images gathered from around the world.

Each chapter is a stand-alone story about a famous buccaneer and follows each on a specific attack as an example of their greater techniques and tactics for plundering. The book is a recreation of the action based on historic information.

Sultana by Hoffman.

Sultana: Surviving the Civil War, Prison, and the Worst Maritime Disaster in American HistoryPolitics of the Sea.

Alan Huffman
Sultana follows several young Union soldiers through the Civil War and what was for them its unimaginably disastrous aftermath. After enlistment, they are almost immediately plunged into a cascading series of wartime horrors: Prison camp and finally the sinking of the Sultana, the steamboat that was taking them back home. On an April night in 1865 the Sultana slowly moved up the dark Mississippi, its overtaxed engines straining under the weight of a human cargo that included an estimated twenty-four hundred passengers -- more than six times the number it was designed to carry. Most were emaciated Union soldiers recently paroled from Confederate prison camps on their way home. At two a.m. three of Sultana 's four boilers exploded. Within twenty minutes she went down, taking an estimated seventeen hundred lives. Due to a confluence of contemporary events (Lincoln had recently been assassinated and the war had ended) it soon faded into relative obscurity. Using contemporary research as well as digging nto archives and family keepsakes, Huffman paints a portrait of the young men who made it home alive.

Ancient Maritime Spice Routes.

Berenike and the Ancient Maritime Spice Route
(California World History Library)
Ships, Shipping, Migration, World Seaports.

Stevan E. Sidebotham
The legendary overland silk road was not the only way to reach Asia for ancient travelers from the Mediterranean. During the Roman Empire's heyday, equally important maritime routes reached from the Egyptian Red Sea across the Indian Ocean. The ancient city of Berenike located approximately 500 miles south of today"s Suez Canal was a significant port among these conduits. In this book Steven E. Sidebotham, the archaeologist who excavated Berenike, uncovers the role the city played in the regional local and "global" economies during the eight centuries of its existence. Sidebotham analyzes many of the artifacts botanical and faunal remains and hundreds of the texts he and his team found in excavations providing a profoundly intimate glimpse of the people who lived worked and died in this emporium between the classical Mediterranean world and Asia.

How Trade Shaped the World by William J. Bernstein.

Adam Smith wrote that man has an intrinsic "propensity to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another." But how did trade evolve to the point where we don't think twice about biting into an apple from the other side of the world?

A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the WorldWorld Sea Trade.

William J. Bernstein
A narrative history of world trade from Sumer in 3000 BCE to the firestorm over globalization today that brilliantly explores trade's colorful and contentious past and provides fresh insights into social, political, cultural, and economic history, as well as a timely assessment of trade's future.

Author William J. Bernstein tells the extraordinary story of global commerce from its prehistoric origins to the myriad controversies surrounding it today. He transports readers from ancient sailing ships that brought the silk trade from China to Rome in the second century to the rise and fall of the Portuguese monopoly in spices in the sixteenth; from the rush for sugar that brought the British to Jamaica in 1655 to the American trade battles of the early twentieth century; from key innovations such as steam, steel, and refrigeration to the modern era of televisions from Taiwan, lettuce from Mexico, and T-shirts from China.

Bernstein examines how our age-old dependency on trade has contributed to our planet's agricultural bounty, stimulated intellectual progress, and made us both prosperous and vulnerable. Although trade often takes a backseat to war, Bernstein concludes that trade is ultimately a force for good among nations, and he proposes that societies are more successful and stable when they are involved in vigorous trade with their neighbors. A Splendid Exchange views trade and globalization not in political terms, but rather as an evolutionary process as old as war and religion; trade is the historical constant that will continue to foster the growth of intellectual capital, shrink the world, and propel the trajectory of the human species.

Power and Plenty The World Economy by Fonald Findlay and Kevin H. O Rourke.

Power and Plenty is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the origins of today's international economy the forces that continue to shape it and the economic and political challenges confronting policymakers in the twenty-first century.

Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second MillenniumShips, Trade, World Economy.

(Princeton Economic History of the Western World)

Ronald Findlay and Kevin H. O'Rourke
International trade has shaped the modern world.

Ronald Findlay and Kevin O'Rourke examine the successive waves of globalization and "deglobalization" that have occurred during the past thousand years looking closely at the technological and political causes behind these long-term trends. They show how the expansion and contraction of the world economy has been directly tied to the two-way interplay of trade and geopolitics and how war and peace have been critical determinants of international trade over the very long run. The story they tell links the emergence of the Western economies with economic and political developments throughout Eurasia centuries ago. Drawing extensively upon empirical evidence and informing their systematic analysis with insights from contemporary economic theory Findlay and O'Rourke demonstrate the close interrelationships of trade and warfare the mutual interdependence of the world's different regions and the crucial role these factors have played in explaining modern economic growth.

Shipping Container and World Economy by Marc Levinson.

The Box covers recent maritime history. However, it is relevant to world shipping merchants and how trade evolved that it is included here.

By making shipping so cheap that industry could locate factories far from its customers the container paved the way for Asia to become the world's workshop and brought consumers a previously unimaginable variety of low-cost products from around the globe.

The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy BiggerShips, Shipping, Container Ships, World Seaports.

Marc Levinson

In April 1956 a refitted oil tanker carried fifty-eight shipping containers from Newark to Houston. From that modest beginning container shipping developed into a huge industry that made the boom in global trade possible. The Box tells the story of the container's creation the decade of struggle before it was widely adopted and the sweeping economic consequences of the sharp fall in transportation costs that containerization brought about. Published on the fiftieth anniversary of the first container voyage this is the first comprehensive history of the shipping container. It recounts how the drive and imagination of an iconoclastic entrepreneur Malcom McLean turned containerization from an impractical idea into a massive industry that slashed the cost of transporting goods around the world and made the boom in global trade possible.

The container didn't just happen. Its adoption required huge sums of money from private investors and from ports that aspired to be on the leading edge of a new technology. It required years of high-stakes bargaining with two of the titans of organized labor -- Harry Bridges and Teddy Gleason -- as well as delicate negotiations on standards that made it possible for almost any container to travel on any truck, train or ship.

Ultimately it took McLean's success in supplying U.S. forces in Vietnam to persuade the world of the container's potential. Drawing on previously neglected sources economist Marc Levinson shows how the container transformed economic geography devastating traditional ports such as New York and London and fueling the growth of previously obscure ones such as Oakland, California.

Maritime Annapolis.Ships, Shipping, Migration, World Seaports.

Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navytag

Maritime Annapolis (MD): A History of Watermen, Sails & Midshipmen (American Chronicles)tag

When America First Met China.
When America First Met China:
An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money in the Age of Sail
Ships, Shipping, Migration, World Seaports.

Eric Jay Dolin
Ancient China collides with America in this epic tale of opium smugglers, sea pirates, and dueling clipper ships. Brilliantly illuminating one of the least-understood areas of American history, best-selling author Eric Jay Dolin now traces our fraught relationship with China back to its roots: the unforgiving nineteenth-century seas that separated a brash, rising naval power from a ancient empire. It is a prescient fable for our time, one that surprisingly continues to shed light on our modern relationship with China. Indeed, the furious trade in furs, opium, and b che-de-mer--a rare sea cucumber delicacy--might have catalyzed America's emerging economy, but it also sparked an ecological and human rights catastrophe. Peopled with fascinating characters--from the "Financier of the Revolution" Robert Morris to the Chinese emperor Qianlong, who considered foreigners inferior beings--this saga of pirates and politicians, coolies and concubines becomes a must-read for any fan of Nathaniel Philbrick's Mayflower or Mark Kurlansky's Cod. Two maps, and 16 pages of color and 83 black-and-white illustrations.

Filibusters and Financiers: the Story of William Walker and His AssociatesFilibusters and Financiers.Filibusters and Financiers.

Bernard Bailyn gives a compelling account of the first great transit of people from Britain, Europe, and Africa to British North America, their involvements with each other, and their struggles with the indigenous peoples of the eastern seaboard. They were a mixed multitude from England, the Netherlands, the German and Italian states, France, Africa, Sweden, and Finland. They moved to the western hemisphere for different reasons, from different social backgrounds and cultures, and under different auspices and circumstances.

Even the majority that came from England fit no distinct socioeconomic or cultural pattern. They came from all over the realm, from commercialized London and the southeast; from isolated farmlands in the north still close to their medieval origins; from towns in the Midlands, the south, and the west; from dales, fens, grasslands, and wolds. They represented the entire spectrum of religious communions from Counter-Reformation Catholicism to Puritan Calvinism and Quakerism. They came hoping to re-create if not to improve these diverse lifeways in a remote and, to them, barbarous environment. But their stories are mostly of confusion, failure, violence, and the loss of civility as they sought to normalize abnormal situations and recapture lost worlds. And in the process they tore apart the normalities of the people whose world they had invaded. Later generations, reading back into the past the outcomes they knew, often gentrified this passage in the peopling of British North America, but there was nothing genteel about it. Bailyn shows that it was a brutal encounter brutal not only between the Europeans and native peoples and between Europeans and Africans, but among Europeans themselves. All, in their various ways, struggled for survival with outlandish aliens, rude people, uncultured people, and felt themselves threatened with descent into squalor and savagery. In these vivid stories of individual lives some new, some familiar but rewritten with new details and contexts Bailyn gives a fresh account of the history of the British North American population in its earliest, bitterly contested years.

The Project

Maritime Nations, Ships, Sea Captains, Merchants, Merchandise, Ship Passengers and VIPs sailing into San Francisco during the 1800s.



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Sources: As noted on entries and through research centers including National Archives, San Bruno, California; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; Maritime Library, San Francisco, California, various Maritime Museums around the world.

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