The Outlaw Sea: A World of Freedom, Chaos, and Crime

The Outlaw Sea A World of Freedom Chaos and Crime The open ocean that vast expanse of international waters spreads across three fourths of the globe It is a place of storms and danger both natural and manmade And at a time when every last patch of l

  • Title: The Outlaw Sea: A World of Freedom, Chaos, and Crime
  • Author: William Langewiesche
  • ISBN: 9780865477223
  • Page: 204
  • Format: Paperback
  • The open ocean that vast expanse of international waters spreads across three fourths of the globe It is a place of storms and danger, both natural and manmade And at a time when every last patch of land is claimed by one government or another, it is a place that remains radically free.With typically understated lyricism, William Langewiesche explores this ocean worldThe open ocean that vast expanse of international waters spreads across three fourths of the globe It is a place of storms and danger, both natural and manmade And at a time when every last patch of land is claimed by one government or another, it is a place that remains radically free.With typically understated lyricism, William Langewiesche explores this ocean world and the enterprises licit and illicit that flourish in the privacy afforded by its horizons But its efficiencies are accompanied by global problems shipwrecks and pollution, the hard lives and deaths of the crews of the gargantuan ships, and the growth of two pathogens a modern and sophisticated strain of piracy and its close cousin, the maritime form of the new stateless terrorism.This is the outlaw sea that Langewiesche brings startlingly into view The ocean is our world, he reminds us, and it is wild.

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    About "William Langewiesche"

    1. William Langewiesche

      William Langewiesche is a journalist who has written for Vanity Fair and The Atlantic Monthly.

    732 thoughts on “The Outlaw Sea: A World of Freedom, Chaos, and Crime”

    1. "The Outlaw Sea" is a real page-turner about a wild, lawless frontier that affects all of us. With so much of the raw materials of civilization shipped by freighter -- machinery, vehicles, food, oil -- you'd think shipping would be more closely regulated and better protected. But the author shows us how it's in the best interests of those who own the shipping lanes for there NOT to be much regulation. Ships, crews, and cargos are all, ultimately, expendable. It's more profitable to lose a ship h [...]

    2. This is the first of my booklist to get a five star rating. I absolutely loved it. When I finished reading it, I immediately turned back to the front and began again, which I've done with precious few books over the years. Firstly I am a fan of the genre (maritime non-fiction), but more than that, Langewiesche is very adept at bringing large concepts down to terms any layman can understand. From haggard tankers and flags of convenience to the incredible tragedies of both land and sea, this book [...]

    3. The Outlaw Sea: A World of Freedom, Chaos, and Crime, originally published as a serial report in The Atlantic Monthly, is fundamentally a victim of its journalistic origins. It is a series of chapters, each well told, but inadequately crafted into a unified whole. I felt as though I were reading a product assembled specifically for addicts of Reader’s Digest true-disaster mini-thrillers. Nearly every chapter is highlighted by a dramatically told tale of the sinking or disappearance of a modern [...]

    4. A riveting and revealing story about anarchy on the high seas. There is so much ocean, and no one is in control of it at all. The shipping industry is barely regulated. Piracy is just a small problem compared to the environmental and larger security concerns about the tens of thousands of boats carrying all the things we buy and sell. Langewiesche displays his usual mastery of showing the big picture by telling the small stories: pirates, captains, military men and regulators all get their turn [...]

    5. Thought I would take another look at this review given all the pirate action recently. I wish the poobahs on TV would have read this book. The piracy in the Malacca Straits is perhaps more dangerous than that off Somalia. If you have any interest in the actions of pirates and their effects on the shipping industry, this is the book for you. He doesn't spend much time on the Somali pirate actions; much more on the dangers to shipping around Indonesia and Malaysia. It's astonishing how easy it is [...]

    6. For being entirely nonfiction and based on terrible, depressing events, this is a super trashy book, and kind of fun to read, particularly if you pretend that the deaths you are reading about didn't really happen. Basically the book follows the shady world of container ships, their sketchy ownership and lack of regulation, and the disasters that result from these failures. I hardly ever read books like this, but I will admit enjoying the meaty drama this book is full of.

    7. Uomo libero sempre tu avrai caro il mare Uomo avvisato spesso tu temerai il mare. Langewiesche � un giornalista di vasto mestiere e per mestiere fa il giornalista. Le due cose felicemente in questo caso coincidono. . Abituato in un paese che autorizza a chiamarsi giornalisti coloro che leggono delle veline dietro un banco, WL ricorda ai pochi che in Italia ancora praticano il mestiere e ai molti che ne utilizzerebbero ancora volentieri i servizi, come si va a caccia di un'inchiesta e come si r [...]

    8. I'm hard to please when it comes to nonfiction. But this book paints a picture of a place that is two thirds of the world's surface and I and I think many others know nothing about, without realizing that we know nothing about it. And that it is kind of important for us to know more than nothing about it. I guess what I am saying is the sea - really shipping is what this book is speaking of - is an unknown to me, and so the information presented was fascinating. I also appreciate that he used ma [...]

    9. I would gladly read anything written by William Langewiesche. His stuff is simultaneously visceral and enlightening.

    10. This book makes exciting promises for its content, and I suppose in a way it delivers. It is mostly comprised of a couple of stories of real disasters, which relate in some way to the "Freedom, Chaos, and Crime" of the subtitle. Mostly, they're fascinating in the way that all disasters are - morbidly, and because of the unknowables that caused them. There is one major thing I have taken away from this. I've always thought front-loaders looked kind of cute, with their little bow-shields raised. I [...]

    11. Subtitled A World of Freedom, Chaos, and Crime, this is a very good book about the modern realities of maritime transport and law enforcement. Langewieshe’s thesis is that the oceans, by their very size, are natural havens for shady types like pirates, unscrupulous shipowners and ineffectual regulators.He writes about shipwrecks, piracy, and the shipbreaking industry in India and Bangladesh. Central to the book is the sinking of the passenger ferry Estonia, a wound that has not yet healed in S [...]

    12. We depend on ocean travel in some way for nearly all the products we utilize and yet it is rarely considered by most people in more than passing thoughts. The Outlaw Sea vividly paints the chaos of the ocean and manages to apply a keen rationality to the modern day issues that plague it (flags of convenience, piracy, ship-wreaking, etc.) Langwiesche conveys its awe and peril, and of the massive vessels that tread it, with a wholeness that exemplifies good journalism. His language is specific, si [...]

    13. This book vividly reports on the unforgiving and brutal forces - both natural and man-made - to which those who take to the sea are exposed. It explores the murky politics of the world's oceans and brings us gripping, often tragic human stories from the sea. It takes in an extraordinary event of sophisticated piracy in the Strait of Malacca, reports on the appalling conditions of India's ship recycling trade and gives a minute-by-minute account of the sinking of the passenger ferry Estonia in 19 [...]

    14. I picked this book up at a library book sale because my husband works in the shipping industry as a surveyor for one of the "classification societies" that Langewiesche seems so scornful of. It was definitely an interesting read, although I found it a bit uneven. The best parts of the book are the accounts of various shipping disasters, recreated from the memories of various survivors. The description of the sinking of the Estonian ferry in the second half of the book was particularly interestin [...]

    15. I was not a fan of this book. I was expecting some interesting information about the world at sea - and there was some of that in there - but most of this book was devoted to a collection of stories about things that happened on the sea, all illustrating what can go wrong and how people can die. I found that the overall thrust of the narrative was how dangerous and lawless the sea is by showing examples of a few ships that sank for various reasons, but it had the standard availability heuristic [...]

    16. An interesting book, very journalistic in its tone and procedure, listing facts and probing where there are none to produce a picture of how our oceans are managed, or rather, not managed, in this day and age. Hence, the "outlaw" sea. Although I'd never really thought of it before, it seems that the West fears that the next major terrorist outrage will come from the oceans. Once you start thinking about it, however, it does seem rather obvious. Think of where the Houses of Parliament sit. think [...]

    17. After his "Sahara Unveiled" I wanted to read more by Langewiesche. Plainly put, I like the cut of his jib. Whatever men's magazines used to be, or however I remember their image from when I was young, is what I think Langewiesche's writing offers.Spare but stolid. Stoic but not detached. Factual, but not without some subtle fanfare.Anyways, a big difference in this book is that he's telling the stories of other people rather than the remarkable recounting of his own very specific experience in " [...]

    18. While the cover blurbs on the book promise another "Prefect Storm" quality reading experience, it's a fine read, but it's not quite that good. The book is broken up into 3 sections, a pirate hijacking in the Asian seas, the Estonia ferry sinking in heavy seas, and the ship breaking beach at Alang, India. The pirate section is great. The ferry sinking less so because in explaining the political fallout, he goes over the same information multiple times. (Though I was shocked at the statistic he th [...]

    19. The Outlaw Sea is a book that I picked up last summer. At the time, it didn't seem strikingly relevant. Today, when the news is full of Somali pirates and terrorists infiltrating Mumbai from the sea, it seems very relevant indeed.The book is a collection of Langewiesche's writings about "a world of freedom, chaos, and crime." The reader is reminded that a large portion of the world's surface is covered by the oceans and that the ocean is open and ungoverned in a way that land is not. Different c [...]

    20. This book is worth a read in that it covers a topic that receives surprisingly little research, the regulation and policing of sea trade, and its evolution and consequences. Parts of it are exceptionally well researched, and he captures the reader's interest by detailing how a once more-lawful merchant marine industry deteriorated into a troublesome and dangerous industry.However, the book could have used a good editor to tell the author how to follow his theme. He starts out promising individua [...]

    21. Interesting shorter work of non-fiction exploring various aspects of life related to the Oceans, the sum of which amounts to a disturbing picture of our relationship the Oceans - which is wild, chaotic, often corrupt, and seemingly ungovernable. As such, our activities on the Oceans, and related to them, is also wild, dangerous, and ungovernable. We learn about modern piracy on the high seas, then the details of a poorly designed and incompetently run cruise ship that sinks on the Baltic, and ho [...]

    22. Usually nautical nonfiction focuses on the triumphs or tragedies accompanied with great explorations or tragic shipwrecks. Some of the latter indeed is highlighted in this short volume, particularly the tragedy of the 1994 Estonian ferry accident in which around 850 perished, but the author's inquiry ranges accross the seedy and corrupt world that is oceanic transportation. The international agencies designed to regulate ocean vessels is little more that shell that has little actual effect on co [...]

    23. In lieu of recent events on the open seas you don't have to have a career in international logistics to be intrigued by the discoveries made by William Langewiesch as he leads you through the varied research he's conducted. Pirates, of course are a risk all us "landlubbers" understand. But what about poorly maintained vessels under command by an inexperienced captain? Discover what happened on the international stage after the Exxon Valdez went down. And meet the man that runs the beach where sh [...]

    24. Excellent topic with graphic short stories to back up the premise of a failed least-cost global shipping economy that operates with tons of paper facade rules that are strictly for legal paperwork, when in fact the actual operations are a global un-policed disaster.While the topic was excellent and probably well supported, I thought that there was too much of a micro focus on 3 examples of incidents. The Estonia sinking and JAIC investigation needed to be summarized heavily. Instead I felt that [...]

    25. This one came as a gabfest recommendation, and I really liked it. I don't read enough "pure journalism" to really compare, but this was a really satisfying read. Of course it has an agenda and a point, something about how so much of our lives is, despite our best efforts, still lawless and anarchic, and in this book, the sea becomes the repository for all that. But the details, and the reporting here are killer, just really well-researched and deployed. People talk about the beauty of Langeweish [...]

    26. The name suggests a book with a broader scope, but this is only a series of three stories: one about piracy, another about a sinking ferry, and a final section on the ship-breaking industry in India. The author presents a lot of problems and proposed solutions are frequently dismissed as naive and impractical. The sinking of the MS Estonia, described in very gory and disturbing detail, dominates the book. The takeaway lessons there are to not pause or hesitate to get to an upper deck- everyone w [...]

    27. Once again William Langewiesche brings the reader into a world that is not familiar to any of us unless we work within the in the industries that make use of the sea or we have been part of a fateful event such as the sinking of the Estonia in 1994. He certainly sheds light on the dark corners of this murky world where there are little or no rules governing what happens. The title certainly represents what Langewiesche uncovered and shares in this volume. When I first started reading this I wasn [...]

    28. This book is a good surface level survey of some current maritime problems, many of which are wild enough to keep most people's attention. I'd recommend it to anyone because most people have no idea what goes on in the maritime industry and are shocked to learn about modern day piracy, conditions seafarers work in, and the way maritime law (like flags of convenience) creates an environment where shady business thrives. Folks should know more about the shipping industry as most of our stuff is sh [...]

    29. picked this up yesterday at the Strand. FINALLY. After asking for it there for like forty years. I bought the hardcover because it's a beautiful book, a sort of matte paper covering and a nice size and weight and so on. All those insignificant things.And it's excellent inside too I had read a large chunk of it in the Atlantic Monthly, but am delighted I read the whole book, which is sort of a low-key 'portrait' of contemporary shipping-- in particular Langewiesche describes in detail a few fairl [...]

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