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More About Bill Purves
Bill Purves is a Canadian engineer/manager and runner who lives in Hong Kong. He is the author of "Barefoot in the Boardroom: Venture and Misadventure in the People's Republic of China".
Reviews - What do customers think about A Sea of Green: A Voyage Around the World of Ocean Shipping?
Adventure at sea Jun 14, 2006
A large proportion of the goods we all depend on and take for granted are shipped to us across the ocean with high reliability and at surprisingly low cost, yet we hear little about the workings of this critical international industry except when there's an oil spill. Now, Bill Purves has packed into this compact and easy-to-read book an impressive amount of inside information about the shipping industry, gathered using his clear talent for investigative journalism and by himself actually riding the waves as a seaman. He covers all aspects of the industry, from the recruiting of crew and buying of ships to bargaining for cargo, hassles with port authorities, and life aboard - from captain to stowaway. All of this is woven into a smoothly flowing narrative that carries us on a sea adventure aboard the Jing Xu, a dilapidated but generally profitable bulk-cargo carrier. We get to know individual, seamen, officers, and fleet managers and become immersed in their lives, feeling what it's like to actually be them. Even financial and regulatory details, that elsewhere generally come across dry as dust, come alive here, seen through the eyes of folks whose livelihoods depend on navigating their intricacies successfully every day in a wildly fluctuating market and often dicey political climate. Shipping is a hard life for everyone involved, it turns out: stressful, dangerous, lonely, unhealthy, and poor paying. Not a life for me, I decided, though I love the sea. But safe in my easy chair, I was fascinated throughout the trip and found myself wanting it to go on when it abruptly ended, with me put ashore in Alexandria.
Great Insight May 14, 2006
I picked up this book in Hong Kong, where the author apparently lives. The book deals with a major aspect of globalization: all the aspects of ocean shipping, including containerization. Covers how the shippers work, who their employees are, the problems they deal with, and the impact they have on the world. Well worth the money and the time to learn how our world works