Books by Benjamin W. Labaree

Released: Aug. 1, 1998

A collaborative history of the profound influence of the sea on America's identity and its national imagination. The six authors (including William Fowler Jr., Andrew German, John Hattendorf, Jefrey Safford, and Edward Sloan, in addition to Labaree), all historians associated with the Munson Institute at Mystic Seaport, trace both the development of distinctive American industries dependent on the sea—fisheries, boat building, merchant service—as well as the emergence, over the course of two centuries, of the US Navy, culminating with WWII, when the country fielded both the largest navy and the largest merchant marine service the world had ever witnessed. A considerable amount of material on the impact of a sea-based economy on the rise of eastern and western cities, and on the influence of the sea on American society, carries the narrative far beyond the precincts of economic history. There's also an astute summary of three centuries of marine art in America, and a survey of the presence of the sea in American literature and folklore. Some 300 illustrations further enliven the text. A model of popular scholarship, and clearly the definitive work on the subject. (71 color 287 b&w illustrations, 10 maps)(History Book Club selection) Read full book review >