Ships of Discovery and Exploration
Lincoln P. Paine's SHIPS OF THE WORLD: AN HISTORICAL HISTORICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA was honored as one of the best reference books of the year by the New York Public Library, and Library Journal described it as "clearly the most fascinating book of the year." Now, in two equally fascinating new books, Paine focuses on two of the most interesting areas of maritime history: WARSHIPS OF THE WORLD TO 1900 and SHIPS OF DISCOVERY AND EXPLORATION.
SHIPS OF DISCOVERY AND EXPLORATION tells the stories of 125 vessels that have played important roles in voyages of geographical exploration and scientific discovery, from early Polynesian double canoes to the most technically sophisticated submersibles. Each ship is described in a vivid short essay that captures its personality as well as its physical characteristics, construction, and history. Drawings, paintings, and photographs show the grandeur and grace of these oceangoing vessels, maps help the reader follow the routes of great seafarers and naval campaigns, and chronologies offer a perspective on underwater archaeology sites, maritime technology, exploration, and disasters at sea.
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The book itself is very interesting, though it has only basic data about the ships themselves (dimensions, tonnage, crew, etc.). It summarizes the history of each ship and gives sources for more information. Its main value is that it describes ships you may not have heard of, from the Navy's FLIP (built to tip up with its aft 85% submerged) to Tim Severin's replica of the Argo from Greek myth.
Unfortunately, the e-book has a couple of problems. First, it includes a completely different book, "The Race" by Tim Zimmerman. That's just an annoyance (or perhaps a bonus feature) -- you just have to skip the first few hundred pages.
The more serious problem is that Paine's book is very poorly scanned, and the outside inch (I'm guessing) of text on each page is cut off. You can generally figure out what the missing words are, but in some cases ship data is missing. That's why I only gave it one star.
Does anyone at Google actually look at these books before they post them?