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Download The Outlaw Sea: A World of Freedom, Chaos, and Crime Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Outlaw Sea: A World of Freedom, Chaos, and Crime (Unabridged), by William Langewiesche
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (401 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: William Langewiesche Narrator: William Langewiesche Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Even if we live within sight of the sea, it is easy to forget that our world is an ocean world. The open ocean, that vast expanse of international waters, begins just a few miles out and 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. Forty-three thousand gargantuan ships ply the open ocean, carrying nearly all the raw materials and products on which our lives are built. Many are owned or managed by one-ship companies so ghostly that they exist only on paper. They are the embodiment of modern global capital and the most independent objects on earth, many of them without allegiances of any kind, changing identity and nationality at will. Here is free enterprise at it freest, opportunity taken to extremes. But its efficiencies are accompanied by global problems, shipwrecks and pollution, the hard lives and deaths of the crews, and the growth of two perfectly adapted 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, perennially defiant and untamable, that Langewiesche brings startlingly into view. The ocean is our world, he reminds us, and it is wild.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by shannon | 2/17/2014

    " pirate stories, dramatic ships sinkings, terrorism threats, storms - this book is intense and factual and great and really makes you appreciate the power of the ocean "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Josh | 2/16/2014

    " This book makes the choosing of # of stars an odd activity. On the one hand, this book changed my understanding of the world. On the other hand, parts of it went on too long and I got a bit bored, even with riveting subject matter. If you've ever wondered why international shipping is so cheap, really, stop wondering. You don't want to know. The sea gives us capitalism at its most pure and terrifying. The chapter about the ship breaking industry in India is one of the most unforgettable things I've ever read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by LeeAnn Heringer | 2/12/2014

    " 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 threw out that supposedly 20% of all Germans believe that the 9/11 World Trade Center attack was actually done by the United States against its own people.) The 3rd section about the ship breaking industry was the reason I'd picked up the book, but it spends most its space on the Greenpeace efforts to shut down Alang. The author admires Greenpeace more than I do. When during an interview with Greenpeace, he keeps asking what I think is a very interesting question and the Greenpeace representative keeps refusing to answer it, the author says that it's really his fault for asking the wrong question. And since the ship breaking section of the book is over 10 years old, it leaves the question unanswered about what happened with the whole Greenpeace movement to shut down Alang because I believe ships are still being broken down in Alang. I would describe the book as interesting, but not crucial. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Christine | 2/11/2014

    " Just finished this book. Dunno why I thought it would be a good book to read right before bedtime--his account of an Estonian shipwreck had me up for hours with my heart in my throat. This is non-fiction that reads like a novel; both intellectually interesting and emotionally effecting. "

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