The place of the Merchant Marine in world history, as the author surveys the course of its history in sea power, from the Phoenicians, Greek and Romans, to the present-day United States merchant marine. He weighs the value, the importance and necessity of commercial shipping, in peace and in war, and examines the facts and statistics for the case of maritime commerce as a factor of national prosperity. He traces the story of our shipping, from clipper ship days on, the lessons which have been hard and expensive to learn, that merchant plus war ships complement each other, -- the former, at all times, to supply the latter, while the latter protect the forme. Here are the results of speed, delivery, improved service. The picture too of the recent renaissance of shipbuilding, the story of embargoes, impressment, tonnage, trade routes, national decline when the merchant marine was in the discard, and the possibility of a proper balance with the coming of age of cargo ships. Partisan -- but plausible.