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Box Boats: How Container Ships Changed the World Paperback – December 17, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0823225699 ISBN-10: 0823225690 Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press (December 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823225690
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823225699
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.9 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #720,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


. . . Those who have a particular interest in shipping with find [this book] fascinating. Recommended.


Written by a transportation expert, who knows how to bring his reader aboard, conduct a tour, and finally discharge all passengers safely, somewhere between history and nostalgia. Box Boats with continue to expand. This book, which goes into deep detail on every aspect of the business, needs to be handy to all who live in this country. -Ray B. Browne


About the Author


BRIAN J. CUDAHY's books include Around Manhattan Island: And Other Maritime Tales of New York and A Century of Subways: Celebrating 100 Years of New York's Underground Railways (both Fordham). He lives in Bluffton, SC.

More About the Author

Brian Cudahy was born in Brooklyn, New York, and it was there that he developed a life-long fascination with subway trains. His first professional career was as a professor of philosophy, and he held positions on the faculoty of both Niagara University and Boston College. Cudahy left the academic world in the mid-1970s and spent the rest of his career working in the field of mass transportation, first with Boston's MBTA, then with the RTA in Chicago, and finally with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

He has published widely in two areas of transportation ... urban mass transit and maritime history. When Fordham University Press celebrated its centennial in 2007, Cudahy's history of the New York subways, "Under the Sidewalks of New York," was cited as one of the Press' ten best sellers during its first hundred years.

Brian Cudahy retired in 1999 and currently lives near Hilton Head, South Carolina. Watch out, though! One of these days, readers may be able to get an inside look at urban mass transit in America through Cudahy's first work of fiction, a book that will bear the title "Foggarty's Heart Attack."

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on June 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Like a lot of other significant advances in technology modern dry cargo carriage was really put together by one man, Malcom McLean. Fifty years ago McLean, the president of McLean Trucking came up with the idea of taking trailers directly on board ships for transport to a port near their final destination. To minimize the space requirements, he had a special trailer developed that would carry a standardized trailer body. The idea of the container was born.

The first shipment in the spring of 1956 used a converted ship that could carry fifty eight trailer bodies. The idea was successful beyond the wildest dreams. The concept of a trailer body being loaded anywhere in the world, trucked to a port, transported by ship to another port, and then trucked to its final destination has literally changed the way business is done. It is largely responsible for the way today's world of manufacture being anywhere in the world and still supplying the world's markets.

This book is about half a biography of McLean, and his life. But his life largely paralleled that of the container business. The other half tells the story of the rest of the industry.

Malcom Mclean is little known outside the shipping industry. But his creation of the way the world now ships products deserves to be better known. He is one of the titans of industry.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on July 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
BOX BOATS: HOW CONTAINER SHIPS CHANGED THE WORLD tells how the first container ship in 1956 changed the entire shipping industry, introducing a concept and transportation idea which would revolutionize the costs of shipping goods. From the Pan-Atlantic's owner who first thought about loading his trucks on board to his evolving line which grew into a giant container service, Cudahy charts not just the evolution of one company, but its impact on and changes within the world shipping and steamship industries as a whole. A fascinating, detailed account.

Diane C. Donovan

California Bookwatch
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Therese C. on June 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recommend this book to anyone interested in the history of ships or the history of transportation and logistics. I think that audience will find this book very interesting. The subtitle of the book is a bit misleading in that the author does not examine in any depth how containerization helped shape the global economy of today. Read Marc Levinson's "The Box", which gives a little bit better analysis of how containers changed the transportation industry and the global economy. Regardless, it wasn't container ships that wrought a transportation revolution, it was the containers themselves. The main title of the book though is "Box Boats" and in that regard, Cudahy has written a fine history of container ships, the container ship industry and how the design of cargo ships has changed to meet the demands of the container revolution. I found the story of the Sea-Land SL-7s particularly interesting, I was not aware of this history of the Navy's Fast Sealift Ships.

The entire first half of the book focuses on the Malcolm McLean and the corporation he founded, Sea-Land. I don't see how that can be avoided in a book about containers or container ships. McLean was the visionary that started container revolution in 1956 and Sea-Land dominated the container shipping business through the 1960's and 1970's, although several other giant shipping lines eventually caught up and even surpassed them. Cudahy goes on in the second half of the book tracing how the international shipping industry transformed itself through the 80's and 90's and then what its future holds. All in all a quick read, only 256 pages, with plenty of interesting footnotes to supplement the story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Navalgamer on May 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
As a merchant mariner and retired USN Operations Specialist I have spent nearly thirty years sailing the world's oceans and observing the ubiquitous container ships on every sea lane and in every port. This book has given me a new appreciation for these giant cargo vessels and their vital role in global commerce. Not a scholarly treatise but a readable, comprehensive look at the history of importance of container shipping. Highly recommended!
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