Citiți această carte acum, plus milioane de alte cărți în perioada de probă gratuită

Gratuit pentru 30 zile, apoi $9.99/lună. Anulați oricând.

Ninety Percent of Everything: Inside Shipping, the Invisible Industry That Puts Clothes on Your Back, Gas in Your Car, and Food on Your Plate

Ninety Percent of Everything: Inside Shipping, the Invisible Industry That Puts Clothes on Your Back, Gas in Your Car, and Food on Your Plate

Citiți previzualizarea

Ninety Percent of Everything: Inside Shipping, the Invisible Industry That Puts Clothes on Your Back, Gas in Your Car, and Food on Your Plate

evaluări:
4/5 (16 evaluări)
Lungime:
393 pagini
6 ore
Lansat:
Aug 13, 2013
ISBN:
9780805096040
Format:
Carte

Descriere

Eye-opening and compelling, the overlooked world of freight shipping, revealed as the foundation of our civilization

On ship-tracking websites, the waters are black with dots. Each dot is a ship; each ship is laden with boxes; each box is laden with goods. In postindustrial economies, we no longer produce but buy. We buy, so we must ship. Without shipping there would be no clothes, food, paper, or fuel. Without all those dots, the world would not work.

Freight shipping has been no less revolutionary than the printing press or the Internet, yet it is all but invisible. Away from public scrutiny, shipping revels in suspect practices, dubious operators, and a shady system of "flags of convenience." Infesting our waters, poisoning our air, and a prime culprit of acoustic pollution, shipping is environmentally indefensible. And then there are the pirates.
Rose George, acclaimed chronicler of what we would rather ignore, sails from Rotterdam to Suez to Singapore on ships the length of football fields and the height of Niagara Falls; she patrols the Indian Ocean with an anti-piracy task force; she joins seafaring chaplains, and investigates the harm that ships inflict on endangered whales.
Sharply informative and entertaining, Ninety Percent of Everything reveals the workings and perils of an unseen world that holds the key to our economy, our environment, and our very civilization.

Lansat:
Aug 13, 2013
ISBN:
9780805096040
Format:
Carte

Despre autor

Rose George is the author of Nine Pints, The Big Necessity and Ninety Percent of Everything. A freelance journalist, she has written for The New York Times, The Guardian, and many other publications. She lives in Yorkshire.


Legat de Ninety Percent of Everything

Cărți conex

Articole conexe


Recenzii

Ce părere au oamenii despre Ninety Percent of Everything

4.1
16 evaluări / 17 Recenzii
Ce părere aveți?
Evaluare: 0 din 5 stele

Recenziile cititorilor

  • (5/5)
    This is a fascinating book. Difficult to categorise as it is so broad in scope, covering travel on a container ship from Felixstowe to Singapore, the life of the seafarer, piracy, law of the sea, ecology and everything in between. The writing is exceptionally good, always finding the right telling vignette. The quality of writing and the theme of the sea unify what could otherwise seem a mish-mash of subjects. Definitely a 100% recommendation.
  • (4/5)
    Like in her earlier book, The Big Necessity, in Ninety Percent of Everything Rose George takes you on a tour of something you don't think much about (in this case global shipping) and makes it fascinating. From the invention of the container, which revolutionized shipping, to the terrible conditions on many ships she provides a glimpse at another world. I'd heard stories of Somali pirates, but hadn't thought much about the seamen who live with their threat as part of of their job.
  • (3/5)
    Even the most industrialized of nations gets at least some or part of the products it consumes transported by ships. Today it's mostly via container ships that ply the oceans of the world.I really enjoyed George's look at "toilets" around the world, so had high hopes for this book. Unfortunately, I didn't get quite what I expected.While I learned a lot about the industry that I didn't know, or just knew bits and pieces about, this book didn't catch my interest as much as her previous book. I was able to put this book aside after a chapter or two without any nagging feeling of needing to know what was yet to come.All in all, while interesting in what it reveals about one of the industries so much of our life depends on, and the people involved in it, at the same time it seems lacking. While I can't quite describe what more I would have liked to have read about, it seems like she could have delved deeper into the subject than she did.
  • (5/5)
    Rose George's latest book takes its title from the fact that 90% of ALL goods are transported by sea. In Ninety Percent of Everything, Ms George took as her task to illuminate this nearly invisible industry that we all depend on. In this engrossing book we get a glimpse of life aboard the Maersk Kendal out of the English port of Felixstowe bound for Singapore. I say glimpse because we really don't get to know much of the crew but such is the nature of the transient merchant crew; where five nationalities of twenty men and one women (cook) comprise the current compliment.The Kendal is a Korean-built container ship with 6,188 containers ("boxes" to the crew) on board. The Kendal is only about 5 years old.Ms George describes the spartan life and facilities on the Kendal from the perspective of her status as a supernumerary.However, Ninety Percent of Everything is no boring travelogue. Ms George does an excellent job of weaving in stories and background of other ships and episodes to illuminate a topic. For example, as the Kendal nears the International Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) and the threat from Somali-based pirates, She digresses into the topic of piracy at some length. She meets with EU-NAVFOR personnel, visits the warship, Vasco de Gama, and describes the harrowing ransoming of the Marida Marguerite.In other chapters, Ms George describes the efforts of the charitable seamen benevolent organizations to offer aid and comfort to seamen regardless of nationality. In another chapter Ms George describes the terrifying prospect of the ship sinking and being a drift in a lifeboat.A theme that resonates through the book is the wretched conditions that any able seamen (AB) must endure. It seems the international waters is awash in unscrupulous ship owners, seamen agents, captains etc with the average seamen at the bottom and subject to every form of exploitation. In summary, though non-fiction, Ninety Percent of Everything is quite the page-turner and is an excellent read.
  • (5/5)
    Another excellent book from Rose George! I love how she writes on topics that most people never think about or are even aware of, yet they are vital to our way (privileged) of living in this world...She writes well, draws you in by constructing a compelling narrative that she intersperses with fascinating and relevant history, politics, economics, etc. Great book!
  • (5/5)
    Rose George takes the reader inside an industry that most of us know nothing about. As her subtitle states, the shipping industry really is an invisible one. Speed, profit, and efficiency are valued, but the men who work on the ships often are not, frequently referred to as "the human element." George talks about piracy, shipwrecks, and the many other dangers that seafarers face. She also talks about her month aboard a container ship. That first-hand account and George's excellent writing make a subject that could have been dreadfully dull into a fascinating book.
  • (4/5)
    This book reveals the many injustices foisted upon foreign crews working aboard merchant marine ships. There were a few really disturbing things. For instance, animals are being sent live from South America to the Middle East, but they're not being cared for very well, so many die during the passage. Another thing is, ships are not always well cared for, which can lead to them sinking and total loss. A ship in an accident can not always expect to be rescued by another merchant marine due to tight shipping scheduled, but captains are expected to help distressed ships, which can often be costly. The issue of piracy is also covered in some depth, but there are better full books on that narrow topic itself. Rose George is very good and I came to this book after A Life Removed, which is highly recommended if you want a better grasp of the current refugee crisis in the Mediterranean.
  • (3/5)
    There is a high chance that you are reading this on some sort of screen that arrived in your country in a container, or box, having been shipped across the oceans of the world to the high street shop of your choice. The ship that brought it was one of 40,000 that ply the world’s oceans carrying 80% of everything you purchase and 90% of the energy that you consume.

    This huge global business is safely out of sight and out of mind; you’ve probably never even thought about it.

    To find out about this secret behemoth, George has travelled the across the seas on container ships and naval vessels, talking to officers, crew, engineers, chaplains and dockworkers to see if she can scratch the surface of it. It is an industry that deliberately chooses opaqueness; ship owners sail under flags of convenience, regulation is scant and rarely enforced and the law seems not to apply at sea. She speaks to those who track some of the 10,000 containers that fall overboard each year, environmentalists who are trying to tell us just how polluting the ships are and goes to Somalia to see the modern pirates being tried.

    In this book George concentrates more on the effects of the shipping industry, both positive and negative, considers the challenges that it faces as costs are driven down and the implications of further changes to come. Rightly so, she gets angry about lots of things, pirates, the scant respect of the law and the conditions that some crews have to suffer. This is an industry that uses the flag of convenience to escape taxes, responsibility for environmental disasters and has no desire to change at the moment, but she does get drawn into the almost romantic notion of ploughing the oceans bringing goods from faraway places. It is a good companion book to Down To The Sea With Ships by Horatio Clare. 3.5 stars
  • (3/5)
    As the title implies, freight shipping is important, but overlooked. The author looks into the industry which appears to be impossible to regulate and awfully dreary at best for the sellers, yet surprisingly compelling. The heart of the book is George's journey on the giant container ship Maersk Kendal from Rotterdam to Singapore by way of Suez. Apart from her own journey, George explores the hardship of the sailor's life and those who depends on them, shipwrecks, the effect of shipping on whales, and Somali pirates. It's an interesting glimpse into a vital part of human life that can be beyond the brain's capability to comprehend.
  • (4/5)
    I found myself completely absorbed by much of this book, which is a journalist's account of a trip on a Maersk container ship and her review of the workings of the shipping industry. Your mileage may vary, but I was fascinated (and at times disgusted) by the commercial realities and the human stories - from the impact of flagging out to the economics of piracy and the intimate loneliness of modern seafaring life.I suspect I will reread this; I certainly found plenty of food for thought (not least in the closing chapters on environmental impact) and was touched by the chapter on the church's involvement to try and reassure seafarers that somebody out there cares in the face of elaborate corporate structures that remove any accountability for ship owners or flag states and leave the sailors literally at sea with little protection and less oversight.Well written and unexpectedly engaging.
  • (4/5)
    Quite well done and one of the few books to refer back to the seminal book on the topic, The Box. Clearly containerization has changed how we all live and work and it has been a major influence on globalization. Her captain will be well out of it when he retires. She doesn't like the Somali pirates and neither do I. (When touring in Copenhagen we had a Somali cabdriver take us to the dock to catch our ship; the Americans had recently shot dead three or four of the pirates in rescuing a ship's captain and I was happy about this). Excellent on the changes that have come to shipping and the few people, such as the church, who care.
  • (4/5)
    If I need only 25 words to complete a review for the Early Reviewers, "Ninety Percent of Everything: Inside Shipping, the Invisible Industry That Puts Clothes on Your Back, Gas in Your Car, and Food on Your Plate" by Rose George should probably suffice enough. But still, I'll add this book was very interesting and makes you think about how you get stuff from around the world and what the kind of system means to everyone.
  • (5/5)
    I must admit I've never given any thought to the merchant navy, especially how essential their services and how poorly treated their ranks are. Thinking of the modern sailor, I would have assumed that they still faced the same natural dangers and the threat of piracy, but that overall their condition had improved: better nutrition, freedom at ports, international safety regulations for vessels, fair wages, efficient disaster relief/rescue operations, and accountability when one of these criteria weren't met. Well, I was sorely wrong. An illuminating look at a grieviously treated and near invisible portion of our population. She also dedicates a chapter to the negative impact shipping has on sea life. Sadness all around.
  • (4/5)
    I have lived in Savannah, Georgia for about eight years now. Savannah is the second or third busiest port in the US. When you get near the river, you can see the massive container ships come right up the Savannah River. As a student I always wondered what sort of people work on boats like that and what their lives are like. Despite the volume of cargo moving in and out, most people here are only dimly aware about what goes on in the port and what's being shipped. The port is in an industrial part of town and the security is tight, so you can't just have a stroll around the docks. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, because it answered some many of my questions. Savannahians in particular (including myself) and people in general don't understand how much our modern world with all its international foods and products rests on maritine transportation. In an early chapter, the author, Rose George, does a non-scientific, man-on-the-street survey of people, so see if they know what percentage of goods comes by sea. The highest guess she got was thirty percent. As the title implies, it's three times that. Most people assume our goods come via plane because they're some much quicker. Container ships may move at a relatively glacial pace, but they cannot be beat for cost-effictiveness. In one of the most shocking lines of the book, the reader finds that it is cheaper to have fish caught in Scotland, frozen and shipped to China to be filleted, and then frozen and shipped back to be sold in Scottish grocery stores, RATHER than pay to Scottish workers to process the fish. The obsession with the bottom-line boggles my mind in this case, but it gives the reader an idea that shipping by boat only adds a penny or two to the cost of most goods.Ms. George manages to book a passage on a Danish cargo ship that is captained by an experienced British mariner. There were many bits of this book I found surprising. To begin with, sailors that work for this particular copy are unable to drink alcohol, even when while in port. With the speed at which container ships are off and re-loaded, the crew would only hae a few hours to drink anyway. To paraphrase the captain," I used to wonder if I could catch dinner, now I wonder if I can pick up a newspaper."Most of the ships are now crewed by a mixture of nationalities with a heavy concentration of Filipinos (because they'll work for low wages and many speak English). It's appalling to find how often sailors are screwed out of their wages and treated shabbily in general by officers, the shipping companies, or the employment agencies. Companies are able to get away with abuses in part because of the flag of convenience rule, which allows ships to register with nations like Liberia or Panama, countries that have relatively lax regulations.There are eleven chapters, all of them dealing with different aspects of shipping and life at sea and two chapters devoted to piracy. I was most interested in the chapters on shipwrecks and rescue at sea. I was dismayed to learn that it is becoming more common for cargo ships to ignore distress signals so they can stick to their schedules.I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The chapter on maritime shipping's effect only whales was only part of the book I found a bit dull. I hope that the book gains a wide readership and the public becomes more aware of the difficult conditions sailors live under so we can have cheap goods.
  • (4/5)
    A revealing and eye opening look into the world of modern merchant shipping. The author Rose George decided to take a one-way journey from England to Singapore on the MV Kendal – one of the largest container ships in the Maersk fleet. Along the way she recants readers with tales of tragedy, heroism, boredom and even piracy from the early days of the clipper ships through to our present cost & time constrained world. The overriding discovery from her journey was the isolation and loneliness of the men and women who serve in this most important yet evidently shrouded business – an industry the author explains, which brings us ninety precent of our consumable lives.
  • (4/5)
    Few of us who are not directly involved with saltwater cargo shipping know anything about the industry. Yet much of what we use each day—90% for the British and probably only somewhat less for Americans—is transported over the oceans. Rose George informs us about containerized shipping in a book that takes a minimum of effort to read but manages to be highly informative. This book is full of surprises. There is very little legal regulation or oversight of such matters as how seamen are treated and even of insuring that they receive their promised wages. She explains how flags of convenience limit the responsibility of ship owners. Most seamen today originate in third world countries, although most ship’s officers do not. Container ships are loaded and unloaded very quickly, so crew members get little time in port. Thus, being a seaman is a very lonely business. Containerized shipping is relatively cheap. A sweater can travel 3,000 miles over the ocean for two and a half cents—a can of beer for a penny. Crewmen do not know what is in the containers and thus what they are hauling. Partly the book is a travelogue as the author travels on the Kendal from Britain to Singapore. This ship is owned by Maersk Line, the largest container shipping company in the world with 600 vessels. The Kendal can carry 6,000 containers. Travelogues are often episodic, but even for this genre, the narrative seems disjointed. George devotes two chapters to the dangers of piracy from Somalia to ships and their crews. An ecological chapter details damage done to animal life, especially whales, by large vessels. Another chapter covers accidents, rescues at sea, merchant ships torpedoed in World War II and the public disdain for merchant seamen and the hardships they suffered during the war. In all, Rose George has given us a very informative book about a largely unseen but quite important part of our contemporary world.
  • (4/5)
    "Ninety Percent of Everything" by Rose George exposes the reader to the hidden world of the shipping industry. Few are aware of the industry that brings us nearly everything we buy. This book is a wide-ranging narrative about marine shipping. George takes a journey of nearly ten thousand miles aboard a container vessel. She boards a naval ship to go on convoy duty to protect merchant ships from pirates. George gives a firsthand account of the monotony of shipboard life and the dangers of being at sea. She provides insight into the economics of shipping and the industry’s environmental impact. She relates the stories of heroic rescues and tragic losses. The book is an interesting read that will provide the reader with an increased appreciation for those who risk their lives to transport ninety percent of everything.