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

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An apt and affable nautical chaperone, George’s watery excursion fascinates and dutifully educates.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

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.

 

About Rose George

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Rose George is the author of The Big Necessity and A Life Removed. A freelance journalist, she has written for The New York Times, Slate, Harpers, and the Financial Times. She lives in London.
 
Published August 13, 2013 by Metropolitan Books. 304 pages
Genres: History, Professional & Technical, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Ninety Percent of Everything
All: 3 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Dwight Garner on Oct 16 2013

“Ninety Percent of Everything” is consistently absorbing, but there are moments when its pulse genuinely quickens. Some of these moments are about survival in open boats; others are about rescues, and about old codes of conduct that still apply for some mariners.

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WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by Marc Levinson on Aug 20 2013

"Ninety Percent of Everything" offers some acute insights about ocean shipping. Several of the author's chapters could make colorful magazine articles. But neither Kendal nor any of the people we meet aboard it is interesting enough to carry a book.

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Kirkus

Good
on Jul 23 2013

An apt and affable nautical chaperone, George’s watery excursion fascinates and dutifully educates.

Read Full Review of Ninety Percent of Everything:... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Reader Rating for Ninety Percent of Everything
77%

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