Wow! To Sullivan, awesome means inspiring and bigger means better--for reasons injected only to defend the supertanker against its critics in the book's final pages. Meanwhile there's a running, unelaborated reference to the lack of U.S. supertanker docking facilities (repeatedly fought by localities and conservationist groups), as if we were somehow deprived; and sure enough Sullivan eventually gets around to opposing their opponents. But the bulk is a standard, compartmentalized account of the history of oil tankers; the construction and operation of the 200,000-ton-and-up supertankers; ""superports"" and their procedures; routine hazards and actual tanker accidents. Discussion of accidents in U.S. waters turns into a condemnation of the small, old, numerous vessels which could be eliminated were supertankers to be accommodated (an analogy is drawn with jet planes), and then we hear what might make supertanker operation and the ships themselves safer--but nothing, characteristically, to rebut the Institute of Merchant Shipping's objections to double bottoms. Informative on technical matters but hardly candid or responsible apropos of the public interest.