Devils on the deep blue sea: the dreams, schemes, and showdowns that built America's cruise-ship empires
Left for dead after the advent of cheap, reliable air travel forty years ago, cruise shipping in the decades since has been reborn as a $12 billion industry on the cutting edge of twenty-first century global capitalism. Today, nearly ten million Americans take cruises each year, sailing to exotic destinations on floating cities that can cost upwards of $600 million each to construct. In this terrifically entertaining history, Kristoffer A. Garin chronicles the industry's rise from humble and comic beginnings in the early sixties through waterfront corruption and the incalculably huge impact of the hit television series The Love Boatin the seventies and eighties to the recent consolidation wars. Entrepreneurial genius and bareknuckle capitalism mate with cultural kitsch as the cruise lines dodge U.S. tax, labor, and environmental laws to make unimaginable profits while bringing the world a new form of leisure. Few businesses in America today are as colorful, lucrative, and innovative as cruise shipping, and Devils on the Deep Blue Seais the first book to give readers a compelling behind-the-scenes look into these floating empires and the modern-day robber barons who shaped them.