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Books > Humanities > History > History of specific subjects > Maritime history

Into A Raging Sea - Great South African Rescues (Paperback): Tony Weaver, Andrew Ingram Into A Raging Sea - Great South African Rescues (Paperback)
Tony Weaver, Andrew Ingram 2
R401 R354 Discovery Miles 3 540 Save R47 (12%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the NSRI, here is a collection of daring rescues filled with drama and danger. From burning ships to shark attacks, sinking trawlers to hallucinating fishermen, these are the stories of man’s constant battle with some of the most dangerous waters on earth. But there is one story in particular that gave rise to the creation of the NSRI...

On 12 April 1966, four fishing boats put out to sea from Stilbaai on South Africa’s southern coast. Soon they were all pulling in fish as fast as they could bait their hooks, and the boats were settling lower in the water. Shortly before sunset, skipper Gerhard Dreyer saw clouds building on the horizon. But the fishing was too good and they ignored the signs. Later that night a gale force wind slammed into them. ‘I told the men to throw everything overboard,’ Gerhard remembers. An hour before midnight, Gerhard headed for deeper water to try and ride out the swells. As dawn broke, they saw for the first time the true extent of the night’s damage: among the flotsam, one man in a lifebuoy. That man was the only crewman from the other three boats to survive the terrible storm. Seventeen men died that night.

Simonstown schoolteacher Patti Price was horrified when she read the news. She began a media campaign and appealed to the president of the Society of Master Mariners. As a direct result of her efforts, the South African Inshore Rescue Service was founded in August 1966 (renamed the National Sea Rescue Institute in 1967). Today, the NSRI has 35 rescue bases and over 1 000 volunteers.

Against All Odds - The Epic Story Of The Oceanos Rescue (Paperback): Andrew Pike Against All Odds - The Epic Story Of The Oceanos Rescue (Paperback)
Andrew Pike 1
R260 R208 Discovery Miles 2 080 Save R52 (20%) Ships in 5 - 10 working days

It was a dark and stormy night in 1991 when a magician took over the bridge of the Oceanos, an ageing passenger liner travelling up the Wild Coast.

The captain was nowhere to be found. The ship started taking in water in the auxiliary engine room just a few hours after it had set sail from East London. Panicking, the crew scrambled into the lifeboats, leaving passengers largely to fend for themselves. The ship’s entertainment staff bravely started to calm passengers and coordinated the abandon-ship operation and rescue effort.

The story of this dramatic rescue, which made headlines across the world, is told from the perspective of all the key role players and describes their extraordinary heroism.

Iron Fist From The Sea - Top Secret Seaborne Recce Operations (1978-1988) (Paperback): Arne Soderlund, Douw Steyn Iron Fist From The Sea - Top Secret Seaborne Recce Operations (1978-1988) (Paperback)
Arne Soderlund, Douw Steyn
R295 R236 Discovery Miles 2 360 Save R59 (20%) Ships in 5 - 10 working days

From Cabinda in Angola to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, 4 Reconnaissance Regiment conducted numerous clandestine seaborne raids during the Border War. They attacked strategic targets such as oil facilities, transport infrastructure and even Russian ships. All the while 4 Recce’s existence and capability was largely kept secret, even within the South African Defence Force.

With unparalleled access to previously top secret documents, 50 operations undertaken by 4 Recce, other Special Forces units and the South African Navy are described here in Iron Fist From The Sea. The daunting Operation Kerslig (1981), in which an operator died in a raid on a Luanda oil refinery and others were injured, is retold in spine-tingling detail. The book reveals the versatility and effectiveness of this elite unit and also tells of both the successes and failures of its actions. Sometimes missions go wrong, as in Operation Argon (1985) when Captain Wynand Du Toit was captured. This fascinating work will enthrall anyone with an interest in Special Forces operations.

Iron Fist From The Sea takes you right to the raging surf, to the adrenalin and fear that is seaborne raiding.

A Short History Of Mozambique (Paperback): Malyn Newitt A Short History Of Mozambique (Paperback)
Malyn Newitt
R250 R200 Discovery Miles 2 000 Save R50 (20%) Ships in 5 - 10 working days

This comprehensive overview traces the evolution of modern Mozambique, from its early modern origins in the Indian Ocean trading system and the Portuguese maritime empire to the fifteen-year civil war that followed independence and its continued after-effects.

Though peace was achieved in 1992 through international mediation, Mozambique's remarkable recovery has shown signs of stalling. Malyn Newitt explores the historical roots of Mozambican disunity and hampered development, beginning with the divisive effects of the slave trade, the drawing of colonial frontiers in the 1890s and the lasting particularities of the north, centre and south, inherited from the compartmentalised approach of concession companies. Following the nationalist guerrillas' victory against the Portuguese in 1975, these regional divisions resurfaced in a civil war pitting the south against the north and centre, over attempts at far-reaching socioeconomic change. The settlement of the early 1990s is now under threat from a revived insurgency, and the ghosts of the past remain.

This book seeks to distill this complex history, and to understand why, twenty-five years after the Peace Accord, Mozambicans still remain among the poorest people in the world.

The Queen's Pirate: Sir Francis Drake and the Golden Hind (Paperback): Kevin Jackson The Queen's Pirate: Sir Francis Drake and the Golden Hind (Paperback)
Kevin Jackson
R207 R171 Discovery Miles 1 710 Save R36 (17%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days
Darwin's Odyssey: The Voyage of the Beagle (Paperback): Kevin Jackson Darwin's Odyssey: The Voyage of the Beagle (Paperback)
Kevin Jackson
R212 R177 Discovery Miles 1 770 Save R35 (17%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days
Graveyard of the Atlantic - Shipwrecks of the North Carolina Coast (Paperback, New edition): David Stick Graveyard of the Atlantic - Shipwrecks of the North Carolina Coast (Paperback, New edition)
David Stick
R499 R417 Discovery Miles 4 170 Save R82 (16%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days

This is a factual account, written in the pace of fiction, of hundreds of dramatic losses, heroic rescues, and violent adventures at the stormy meeting place of northern and southern winds and waters -- the Graveyard of the Atlantic off the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Ystervuis uit die See - Uiters Geheime Seewaartse Recce-operasies (1978-1988) (Afrikaans, Paperback): Arne Soderlund, Douw Steyn Ystervuis uit die See - Uiters Geheime Seewaartse Recce-operasies (1978-1988) (Afrikaans, Paperback)
Arne Soderlund, Douw Steyn
R295 R236 Discovery Miles 2 360 Save R59 (20%) Ships in 5 - 10 working days

Gedurende die Grensoorlog het die Spesiale Magte se 4 Verkenningsregiment tientalle klandestiene seewaartse operasies saam met die SA Vloot uitgevoer. Van Cabinda in Angola tot Dar es Salaam in Tanzanië het hulle strategiese teikens soos oliedepots, vervoerinfrastruktuur en selfs Russiese skepe aangeval. Die bestaan van 4 Recce is grootliks geheim gehou, ook in die SAW.

Ystervuis uit die see beskryf 50 operasies deur 4 Recce, ander Spesmagte-eenhede en die SA Vloot. Daaronder tel Operasie Kerslig (1981), waartydens ’n operateur dood en ander beseer is in ’n aanval op ’n olieraffinadery in Luanda, en Operasie Argon (1985) toe kaptein Wynand du Toit in Angola gevange geneem is.

Die skrywers, wat self aan etlike van die operasies deelgeneem het, het ook toegang gekry tot uiters geheime dokumente wat intussen gedeklassifiseer is. Hul dramatiese vertellings wys hoe veelsydig en doeltreffend hierdie elite-eenheid was.

Die omvattende boek is ’n moet vir enigeen met ’n belangstelling in die Spesmagte. Dit neem jou na die hart van die aksie, die adrenalien en vrees van seewaartse operasies.

A General History of the Lives, Murders and Adventures of the Most Notorious Pirates (Hardcover): Captain Charles Johnson A General History of the Lives, Murders and Adventures of the Most Notorious Pirates (Hardcover)
Captain Charles Johnson; Edited by Sam Willis
R553 R460 Discovery Miles 4 600 Save R93 (17%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

First published in 1724 following a marked increase in pirate attacks on the Spanish Main and the resultant Wapping executions, Captain Charles Johnson's A General History of Pirates is the most famous, and most influential, book about pirates ever written. Famed for its vigorous prose and uncanny understanding of the pirates' way of life, Johnson's volumes became the forerunners of the real-life criminal biography genre and inspired the likes of Defoe's Moll Flanders and Fielding's Jonathan Wild. Without them there would have been no Peter Pan, Treasure Island or Captain Jack Sparrow. This new edition presents twenty action-packed biographies detailing the blood-thirsty escapades of Blackbeard, Captain Kidd, William Avery and Bartholomew Roberts. The celebrated female pirates Mary Reed and Anne Bonny also owe their subsequent notoriety to Johnson's book. Originally published in folio size complete with fine copper engravings, this new edition not only includes the very best of the original decorative features but also presents a series of related illustrations, adverts, playbills and portraits from the British Library.

Titanic Calling - Wireless Communications during the Great Disaster (Hardcover): Michael Hughes, Katherine Bosworth Titanic Calling - Wireless Communications during the Great Disaster (Hardcover)
Michael Hughes, Katherine Bosworth
R412 R255 Discovery Miles 2 550 Save R157 (38%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Published in commemoration of the one-hundredth anniversary of the "Titanic"'s sinking, this book tells the story of that fateful night from an unusual angle: through the many wireless communications sent to and from the land stations and the ships involved as the tragic events unfolded.Drawing on the extensive record of wireless transmissions in the Marconi Archives, "Titanic Calling" recounts this legendary story the way it was first heard, beginning with repeated warnings--just hours before the collision--of several large icebergs unusually far south and alarmingly close to the "Titanic"'s course. The story follows senior operator Jack Phillips as he sends distress messages to nearby ships and shows how these urgent calls for help were received and rapidly relayed across the Atlantic in a desperate attempt to save the lives of the "Titanic"'s passengers and crew. Finally, the distant SS "Virginian" receives the "Titanic"'s final, broken message. The story concludes with the rescue of the fortunate survivors, who radio messages to loved ones from aboard the RMS "Carpathia "while safely on their way to New York. Illustrated throughout with photographs of the messages and including full transcripts of original material, the book also features an introduction to the development of maritime wireless communications and a discussion of the Marconi Archives's "Titanic "collection. The forced brevity of the messages lends the narrative a startling sense of immediacy and brings to life to the voices of the individuals involved.

Titanic - The World's Largest Liner (Paperback): Roger Cartwright Titanic - The World's Largest Liner (Paperback)
Roger Cartwright
R160 R127 Discovery Miles 1 270 Save R33 (21%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

This is the story of RMS Titanic. In this authoritative and highly illustrated guide we explore what was the largest passenger steamship in the world when she set sail on her maiden voyage from Southampton on 10 April 1912. Just four days later she struck an iceberg and sank, resulting in the deaths of 1,517 people in one of the worst peacetime maritime disasters in history. Here we see how the ship was built, reveal what life was like above and below deck, uncover details of the fatal accident and the aftermath - and consider the world's fascination with the subject ever since.

Into the Raging Sea - Thirty-Three Mariners, One Megastorm and the Sinking of El Faro (Paperback): Rachel Slade Into the Raging Sea - Thirty-Three Mariners, One Megastorm and the Sinking of El Faro (Paperback)
Rachel Slade 1
R267 R207 Discovery Miles 2 070 Save R60 (22%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

In the tradition of The Perfect Storm and Into Thin Air, Rachel Slade's Into the Raging Sea is a nail-biting account of the sinking of the container ship El Faro, the crew of thirty-three who perished onboard, and the destructive forces of globalisation that put the ship in harm's way. On October 1, 2015, Hurricane Joaquin barreled into the Bermuda Triangle and swallowed the container ship El Faro whole, resulting in one of the worst shipping disasters in decades. No one could fathom how a vessel equipped with satellite communications, a sophisticated navigation system, and cutting-edge weather forecasting could suddenly vanish - until now. Relying on hundreds of exclusive interviews with family members and maritime experts, as well as the words of the crew members themselves - whose conversations were captured by the ship's data recorder - journalist Rachel Slade unravels the mystery of the sinking of El Faro. As she recounts the final twenty-four hours onboard, Slade vividly depicts the officers' anguish and fear as they struggled to carry out Captain Michael Davidson's increasingly bizarre commands, which, they knew, would steer them straight into the eye of the storm. Taking a hard look at America's aging merchant marine fleet, Slade also reveals the truth about modern shipping - a cutthroat industry plagued by razor-thin profits and ever more violent hurricanes fueled by global warming. A richly reported account of a singular tragedy, Into the Raging Sea takes us into the heart of an age-old American industry, casting new light on the hardworking crew of El Faro who paid the ultimate price in the name of profit.

Stephen Biesty's Cross-Sections Man-of-War (Hardcover): Stephen Biesty Stephen Biesty's Cross-Sections Man-of-War (Hardcover)
Stephen Biesty; Richard Platt 1
R245 R196 Discovery Miles 1 960 Save R49 (20%) Ships in 5 - 10 working days

Look inside an 18th-century warship as it sails into battle on the high seas. Packed with extraordinary illustrations, this history book for children covers everything from warship design to navigation.

Biesty's incredible drawings slice through a man-of-war to explore every corner, from the crow's nest to the stinking hold. Packed with fascinating facts and gory details, the pages teem with sailors busy about their duties. Find out how gun crews fired a cannon, examine a surgeon's toolkit, and learn the best way to wriggle the maggots out of the ship's biscuits. Look out, too, for the stowaway on every page. He's the one with spiky hair and there's a reward for his capture!

This absorbing book will have children - and adults - poring over every page. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Stephen Biesty's Cross-Sections Man-of-War remains as entertaining as ever.

Lifeboat (Paperback): John R. Stilgoe Lifeboat (Paperback)
John R. Stilgoe
R519 R437 Discovery Miles 4 370 Save R82 (16%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days

""Lifeboat" is a fascinating and meticulously researched work to be enjoyed by seafarers and history buffs alike." -- Linda Greenlaw, author of "The Lobster Chronicles" and T "he Hungry Ocean "

"Stilgoe has written a book that examines situations of such fear, despair, physical danger, and mental torment as most healthy minds cannot imagine. In so doing he shows us our reflection in a cruel sea; the image seldom flatters." -- "International Journal of Maritime History "

" "Lifeboat" is a majestic, prodigious, mighty book." -- John Casey, National Book Award--winning author of "Spartina "

"The author takes his readers (whether couch-anchored or ready to strain at the oar) on a magnificent voyage of discovery.... Stilgoe presents a virtual encyclopedia of incidents and actors skillfully integrated into the hows, whys, and responsibilities of disaster, rescue, or loss. Stirring tales crowd the pages; writers from Conrad, R. L. Stevenson, Nordhoff and Hall, Tomlinson, and Villiers through to the moderns are appositely quoted, while Stilgoe's deft introduction of forgotten classics -- some feeding the morbid reader's taste for cannibalism (passengers are eaten first) -- is of lasting value. Previously neglected historical and geographical information abounds; arcana such as U-boat etiquette for ship-sinking and survivor-treatment are also presented." -- "ForeWord "

"John Stilgoe has taken one of his passions and transformed it into a solid piece of scholarship that is bound to enlighten and engage readers.... Through his copious references and brief tellings of many stories, [he] has not only whetted our appetites but has also given us the information we need to satisfy thoseappetites." -- J. Revell Carr, "WoodenBoat Review "

Woven through "Lifeboat" are good old-fashioned yarns, thrilling tales of adventure that will quicken the pulse of readers who have enjoyed the novels of Patrick O'Brian, "Crabwalk" by Gnter Grass, or works of nonfiction such as "The Perfect Storm" and "In the Heart of the Sea." But Stilgoe, whose other works have plumbed suburban culture, locomotives, and the shore, is ultimately after bigger fish. Through the humble, much-ignored lifeboat, its design and navigation and the stories of its ultimate purpose, he has found a peculiar lens on roughly the past two centuries of human history, particularly the war-tossed, technology-driven history of man and the sea.

John R. Stilgoe, Robert and Lois Orchard Professor in the History of Landscape at Harvard University, is the author of numerous books, including "Outside Lies Magic, "Alongshore," and "Landscapes and Images" (Virginia). He lives on the coast of "Massachusetts, where he sails a ship's lifeboat from Newfoundland, built in 1935.

Golgotha Van Die Oseane - Skeepsrampe Aan Die Agulhas-kus (Afrikaans, Paperback): Jeannette Grobbelaar Golgotha Van Die Oseane - Skeepsrampe Aan Die Agulhas-kus (Afrikaans, Paperback)
Jeannette Grobbelaar
R167 Discovery Miles 1 670 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Die Suid-Kaapse Agulhas-kus is ongetwyfeld besaai met stories en legendes oor die tientalle skeepsrampe wat hulle aan hierdie gevaarlikste deel van die ganse Suid-Afrikaanse kuslyn afgespeel het.

Met hierdie besonderse boekstawing deur Jeanette Grobbelaar word hierdie boeiende verhale nie net byeengebring nie, maar word dit ook op só ‘n manier aangebied dat jy dié boek eenvoudig nie neer wíl sit nie.

Marriners Yarns (Paperback): George Ingle Marriners Yarns (Paperback)
George Ingle
R167 Discovery Miles 1 670 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

A fascinating insight into an industry that shaped the Yorkshire landscape which will appeal to those interested in the history of the county, Keighley, knitting and our industrial heritage generally. Marriner's wool and patterns have clothed generations of British families, but few people are aware of the fascinating story of this famous company. This well-written, readable account puts the firm under the microscope in a way which contributes greatly to our knowledge and understanding of mill working and management.

On the Account in the Golden Age - Piracy & the Americas, 1670-1726 (Paperback): Joseph Gibbs On the Account in the Golden Age - Piracy & the Americas, 1670-1726 (Paperback)
Joseph Gibbs
R773 R659 Discovery Miles 6 590 Save R114 (15%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Piracy along American coastlines and in the Caribbean in the late 1600s and early 1700s is often seen today through a colourful set of modern media archetypes. The reality, however, was usually more ugly and frequently lethal. In this book, author Joseph Gibbs goes back to original memoirs, monographs, newspaper articles, and trial records to present a stark picture of piracy in the era of Blackbeard, Bartholomew Roberts, and Ann Bonny and Mary Read. A prequel to Gibbs well received On the Account: Piracy and the Americas, 17661835, this book similarly presents primary sources chosen for authenticity. The contents are introduced, annotated, and carefully edited for modern readers. They offer a glimpse of piracy far removed from, and often more engaging than, the romanticised version provided by later writers and filmmakers. They describe, for example, the ordeal-filled marches of the Caribbean boucaniers, who were tough enough to eat leather while sacking the cities of the Spanish empire. They also shed light on the pirates tactics at sea and on land; their practice of forcing captives to join them; their often-sadistic cruelty; and their ships articles and the primitive democratic standards they upheld. Enhanced with classic maps and illustrations, The Golden Age offers an unvarnished look at those who sailed and often died under the dreaded black and red flags of the era. Readers will see pirates as they actually were -- in pursuit of prey, in battle, and sometimes on the way to the gallows.

They Couldn't Have Done it Without Us - The Merchant Navy in the Falklands War (Paperback): John Johnson-Allen They Couldn't Have Done it Without Us - The Merchant Navy in the Falklands War (Paperback)
John Johnson-Allen
R293 R267 Discovery Miles 2 670 Save R26 (9%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Over seventy merchant ships sailed in the Task force sent by Britain to recapture the Falkland islands in 1982. Some were Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels, but the majority were STUFT-ships taken up from trade-and the officers and crew of these merchant vessels, all volunteers, suddenly found themselves thrust into a war zone in the South Atlantic. Remarkably little has been written about the part played by the Merchant navy, summarised by the official history of the campaign as 'an impenetrable mystery, girt about by seasickness' This book lifts the curtain on that mystery, to reveal something of the experiences of the merchant seamen and women who made possible the retaking of the Falkland islands. John Johnson-Allen, maritime historian and former merchant naval officer, combines personal accounts, documents and comment to bring to life the events of the Falklands War, as seen from the merchant ships that played such a vital role in that conflict.

The Last Grain Race (Paperback): Eric Newby The Last Grain Race (Paperback)
Eric Newby 1
R294 R227 Discovery Miles 2 270 Save R67 (23%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

An engaging and informative first-hand account of the last `grain race' of maritime history, from respected travel writer Eric Newby. In 1939, a young Eric Newby - later renowned as a travel writer of exceptional talent - set sail aboard Moshulu, the largest sailing ship still employed in the transportation of grain from Australia to Europe. Every year from 1921 to 1939, the vessels involved in the grain trade would strive to find the shortest, fastest passage home - `the grain race' - in the face of turbulent seas, atrocious weather conditions and hard graft. First published in 1956, `The Last Grain Race', featuring many photographs from the author's personal collection, celebrates both the spirit of adventure and the thrill of sailing on the high seas. Newby's first-hand account - engaging and informative, with frequent bursts of humour and witty observations from both above and below deck - chronicles this classic sailing voyage of the Twenties and Thirties, and records the last grain race of maritime history.

Pacific - An Ocean of Wonders (Hardcover): Philip Hatfield Pacific - An Ocean of Wonders (Hardcover)
Philip Hatfield 1
R831 R666 Discovery Miles 6 660 Save R165 (20%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

If you centre a globe on Kiritimati (Christmas Island), all you see around it is a vast expanse of ocean. Islands of various sizes float in view while glimpses of continents encroach on the fringes, but this is a view dominated by water. The immense stretch of the Pacific Ocean is inhabited by a diverse array of peoples and cultures bound by a common thread: their relationship with the sea. The rich history of the Pacific is explored through specific objects, each one beautifully illustrated, from the earliest human engagement with the Pacific through to the modern day. With entries covering mapping, trade, whaling, flora and fauna, and the myriad vessels used to traverse the ocean, Pacific builds on recent interest in the voyages of James Cook to tell a broader history. This visually stunning publication highlights the importance of an ocean that covers very nearly a third of the surface of the globe, and which has dramatically shaped the world and people around it.

Shipping at Cardiff - Photographs from the Hansen Collection (Hardcover, New Updated): David Jenkins Shipping at Cardiff - Photographs from the Hansen Collection (Hardcover, New Updated)
David Jenkins
R259 R186 Discovery Miles 1 860 Save R73 (28%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

One of the greatest treasures in the archives of the Welsh Industrial and Maritime Museum is the Hansen Collection, consisting of over 4500 negatives of shipping taken at Cardiff Docks between 1920 and 1975. Lars Peter Hansen, a native of Copenhagen, settled in Cardiff in 1891 and he and his third son Leslie established a photographic business in the docks; taking pictures of ships for sale to seamen and shipowners was an important part of their business. Following the retirement of Leslie Hansen in 1975, the museum purchased the negative collection. Its historical value cannot be overstated and this album is intended as a tribute to the Hansens, who through their work have bequeathed to Wales a pictorial record of shipping activity at the nation's premier port.

Britain and the Sea - Since 1600 (Paperback): G O'Hara Britain and the Sea - Since 1600 (Paperback)
G O'Hara
R971 Discovery Miles 9 710 Ships in 7 - 11 working days

In this book, O'Hara presents the first general history of Britons relationship with the surrounding oceans from 1600 to the present day. This all-encompassing account covers individual seafarers, ship-borne migration, warfare and the maritime economy, as well as the British peoples maritime ideas and self perception throughout the centuries.

The Lighthouse Stevensons (Paperback): Bella Bathurst The Lighthouse Stevensons (Paperback)
Bella Bathurst
R288 R220 Discovery Miles 2 200 Save R68 (24%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

An exciting new edition of Bella Bathurst's epic story of Robert Louis Stevenson's ancestors and the building of the Scottish coastal lighthouses against impossible odds. 'Whenever I smell salt water, I know that I am not far from one of the works of my ancestors,' wrote Robert Louis Stevenson in 1880. 'When the lights come out at sundown along the shores of Scotland, I am proud to think they burn more brightly for the genius of my father!' Robert Louis Stevenson was the most famous of the Stevensons, but not by any means the most productive. The Lighthouse Stevensons, all four generations of them, built every lighthouse round Scotland, were responsible for a slew of inventions in both construction and optics, and achieved feats of engineering in conditions that would be forbidding even today. The same driven energy which Robert Louis Stevenson put into writing, his ancestors put into lighting the darkness of the seas. The Lighthouse Stevensons is a story of high endeavour, beautifully told; indeed, this is one of the most celebrated works of historical biography in recent memory.

Six Frigates - The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy (Paperback): Ian W Toll Six Frigates - The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy (Paperback)
Ian W Toll
R487 R421 Discovery Miles 4 210 Save R66 (14%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days

Before the ink was dry on the U.S. Constitution, the establishment of a permanent military became the most divisive issue facing the new government. The founders particularly Jefferson, Madison, and Adams debated fiercely. Would a standing army be the thin end of dictatorship? Would a navy protect from pirates or drain the treasury and provoke hostility? Britain alone had hundreds of powerful warships.

From the decision to build six heavy frigates, through the cliff-hanger campaign against Tripoli, to the war that shook the world in 1812, Ian W. Toll tells this grand tale with the political insight of Founding Brothers and the narrative flair of Patrick O'Brian."

Lifeboat (Hardcover, New): John R. Stilgoe Lifeboat (Hardcover, New)
John R. Stilgoe
R1,076 Discovery Miles 10 760 Ships in 7 - 11 working days

The fire extinguisher; the airline safety card; the lifeboat. Until September 11, 2001, most Americans paid homage to these appurtenances of disaster with a sidelong glance, if at all. But John Stilgoe has been thinking about lifeboats ever since he listened with his father as the kitchen radio announced that the liner Lakonia had caught fire and sunk in the Atlantic. It was Christmas 1963, and airline travel and Cold War paranoia had made the images of an ocean liner's distress--the air force dropping supplies in the dark, a freighter collecting survivors from lifeboats--seem like echoes of a bygone era.

But Stilgoe, already a passionate reader and an aficionado of small-boat navigation, began to delve into accounts of other disasters at sea. What he found was a trunkful of hair-raising stories--of shipwreck, salvation, seamanship brilliant and inept, noble sacrifice, insanity, cannibalism, courage and cravenness, even scandal. In nonfiction accounts and in the works of Conrad, Melville, and Tomlinson, fear and survival animate and degrade human nature, in the microcosm of an open boat as in society at large.

How lifeboats are made, rigged, and captained, Stilgoe discovered, and how accounts of their use or misuse are put down, says much about the culture and circumstances from which they are launched. In the hands of a skillful historian such as Stilgoe, the lifeboat becomes a symbol of human optimism, of engineering ingenuity, of bureaucratic regulation, of fear and frailty. Woven through Lifeboat are good old-fashioned yarns, thrilling tales of adventure that will quicken the pulse of readers who have enjoyed the novels of Patrick O'Brian, Crabwalk by Gunter Grass, or works of nonfiction such as The Perfect Storm and In the Heart of the Sea. But Stilgoe, whose other works have plumbed suburban culture, locomotives, and the shore, is ultimately after bigger fish. Through the humble, much-ignored lifeboat, its design and navigation and the stories of its ultimate purpose, he has found a peculiar lens on roughly the past two centuries of human history, particularly the war-tossed, technology-driven history of man and the sea.

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