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Voyages of Discovery: A Visual Celebration of the Greatest Natural History Expeditions
Friday, 17 October 2008 14:48

 

Author: Tony Rice
Publisher: Allen & Unwin

From Baird Maritime:

A beautiful book based on illustrations and paintings contained in the Natural History Museum, London. It celebrates, highlighting original material, the vital voyages of Sir Hans Sloan, Paul Hermann, Maria Merian, William Bartram, James Cook, Matthew Flinders, Charles Darwin, Alfred Wallace, and the Challenger Expedition.

Famous and important voyages of discovery all, indeed. The works of art they inspired are magnificent and, thanks to the British penchant for building and filling great museums, they are largely intact.

The Natural History Museum in South Kensington is a work of art in itself. The world is fortunate that it exists.

The ten expeditions and their leading personalities are brilliantly described here, enhanced immeasurably by the illustrations that have been well chosen from the Museum’s vast store.

Ordering Information:

Allen & Unwin
London, UK and Sydney, Australia
Web: www.allenandunwin.com

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Coastal Vessels: A Colourful Portfolio
Friday, 17 October 2008 14:48

Authors: David L Williams and Richard de Kerbrech
Publisher: Ian Allan Publishing and DLS Distribution Services

From Baird Maritime:

Perhaps a more accurate sub-title would have been “British Coastal Vessels of the 1930’s to 1970’s". The ships described, therefore are generally small, British and no longer trading.

This does not make them any less interesting. This is a fine collection of fascinating vessels going about their business. Every one is accompanied by a clear colour photograph. Each has a succinct specification and a brief biography.

Sadly, few of the ships and very few of their builders are still with us. This book very effectively reinforces the rapid rate of change that is common to the shipping industry.

A very interesting “passing parade” of British coastal cargo ships and working craft such as dredgers has been captured here.

Ordering Information:

Ian Allan Publishing
Hersham, UK
Web: www.ianallanpublishing.com
 
DLS Distribution Services
Braeside, Australia
Web: www.dlsbooks.com

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Sinbad of the Coastguard: The True Story of the Ultimate Sea Dog
Wednesday, 17 September 2008 14:52

Author: George F Foley Jr, Cheif, USCG
Illustrator: George Gray, USCGR
Publisher: Flat Hammock Press

From Baird Maritime:

A delightfully whimsical book about a mutt that was smuggled aboard the US Coast Guard cutter ‘Campbell’ in 1937. Sinbad served aboard for 11 years which, of course, included combat and much action at sea and ashore.

After a rather shaky induction, the dog was eventually formally enlisted into the Coast Guard and provided with uniforms and his own bunk.

Following 11 years of exemplary service, Sinbad was buried beneath the flagstaff of the Barnegat Light Station in New Jersey.

Obviously always the centre of attention and the most popular member of his crew, Sinbad’s life has been widely photographed and illustrated. A selection of photographs and a host of excellent two colour drawings enhance the book immeasurably.

Ordering Information:

Flat Hammock Press
Mystic, USA
Web: www.flathammockpress.com

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Confederate Admiral: The Life and Wars of Franklin Buchanan
Wednesday, 17 September 2008 14:52

Author: Craig L Symonds
Publisher: Naval Institue Press

From Baird Maritime:

The author tells us that Franklin Buchanan’s transfer to the Confederate Navy and his rise to command of it was a rather hot-headed, spur-of-the-moment decision. He could just as easily have fought on the Union side in the American Civil War.

Apart from the Civil War that capped it, Buchanan’s was a most interesting seaman’s life. His life span covered much of the nineteenth century and, for his times, he saw much of planet Earth. He was, for example, the first American to set foot in Japan.

Entering the US Navy in 1815, he was still aboard (the Confederate Navy) in 1865. His was a long and very eventful career. Two navies, innumerable battles, plentiful long voyages.

All this and more is well and colourfully described in this first rate and very welcome biography.

Ordering Information:

Naval Institute Press
Annapolis, USA
Web: www.nip.org

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Crisis at Sea: The United States Navy in European Waters in World War I
Wednesday, 17 September 2008 14:52

Author: William N Still, Jr
Publisher: University Press of Florida

From Baird Maritime:

A massive, intensively researched book on a most interesting subject – the effective international “coming out” of the United States Navy.

As is well known, the United States was a reluctant late comer to the First World War. Its participation, though, undoubtedly improved the Allied prospects of victory.

Much less is known of the role of the US Navy than of the American Expeditionary Force on land or even of the romantic antics of America’s fighter pilots. This fine book re-balances the accounts so to speak.

The author is a respected and widely published maritime history academic. He looks at all aspects of the US Navy’s participation in the war and particularly the political.

The First World War was an intensely educational experience for the US Navy and its political masters. It was a major contributor to its readiness for the Second World War and its significant success there.

Very valuable.

Ordering Information:

University Press of Florida
Gainesville, USA
Web: www.upf.com

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