The Outlaw Sea by William Langewiesche
A World of Freedom, Chaos, and Crime

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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 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.


About William Langewiesche

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William Langewiesche is an American author and journalist, and was a professional airplane pilot for many years. He is currently the international correspondent for the magazine Vanity Fair, but made his name as a national correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly magazine. He has written articles covering events such as the World Trade Center cleanup, a three-part series which was published as the book American Ground. Langewiesche was a finalist for the 2004 Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage for American Ground. Unbuilding the World Trade Center and 2005 for The Outlaw Sea. He was a finalist for the 2007 Michael Kelly Award. He currently lives in France.
Published July 30, 2002 by North Point Press. 260 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Self Help, Nature & Wildlife, Professional & Technical, Science & Math, Business & Economics, Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Whether discussing hijacking, the black market in dismantled ships, or the horrors of ferry accidents, Langewiesche again and again beats home the point that the sea is uncontrollable.

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The Guardian

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Of the Kristal, a ship carrying molasses which sank in the Atlantic in 2001, William Langewiesche writes: "There is little risk to the principals involved - the customers and shipping companies - because the hulls and cargoes are insured, and in the event of an accident and a spill, molasses disp...

Feb 04 2006 | Read Full Review of The Outlaw Sea: A World of Fr...

Publishers Weekly

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"Our world is an ocean world, and it is wild," Langewiesche writes.

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Entertainment Weekly

His writing is impossibly thorough and powerfully understated, especially in the book's bravura middle section, where he reconstructs the 1994 sinking of the Estonia: ''The collective screams of the victims trapped below rose through the stairwells like a cacophony from hell, a protest that ...

May 14 2004 | Read Full Review of The Outlaw Sea: A World of Fr...

The Millions

Contact Book and Reviews Book Lists Links Support the Millions Features Essays Reviews Lists Prizes The Future of the Book Torch Ballads & Jukebox Music Screening Room Columns Ask a Book Question Staff Picks Millions Quiz The Millions Interview ...

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The Millions

These timely concerns, and Langewiesche’s sturdy prose elevate a book of riveting tales of disasters at sea to a book of more weighty importance.

Aug 23 2004 | Read Full Review of The Outlaw Sea: A World of Fr...

Bookmarks Magazine

… The anarchy on the seas is not merely entropy, in his view, but … an unpoliceable world where the ship steaming over the horizon might be carrying a dirty nuclear bomb, bin Laden himself or just a load of molasses."

Oct 20 2009 | Read Full Review of The Outlaw Sea: A World of Fr...

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