An over-all picture of the square rigged barques is a cover-all of information- of history, performance, individual ships, voyages, masters and crew. The Preussen, the last of the 5 masted pure sailing ships and the German firm of Laeisz which made and sailed her and others; the long lineage of ships of her kind and their decline, defeated by propeller and piston rod; the ocean passages, the sailors, (Those who worked the ships and those who worked in the ship), conditions and training; the handling of the square riggeds and their costs, cargoes and contributions. There is a biography of the Cutty Sark; a review of clipper voyages and authentic before the mast stories. And the roster of the few vessels still visible. All in all THE portrait of a vanishing breed and a vanished, engineless era, for every tar and tyro who likes his reading salty.