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208 × 156 × 19 mm
304 pages
119 illustrations, 36 in colour
01 Oct 2010
  • £20.00

  • This edition is currently unavailable

Ship Gregory Votolato

Ships are perhaps the most important mode of transportation ever invented. From oar-powered quinqueremes, to steam-powered freighters, to luxury ocean liners such as the QE2 and QM2 to aircraft carriers like the Abraham Lincoln, throughout history ships have played an integral role in trade, transportation and war. Today, ships remain the largest and most expensive moving objects on the planet; engineers and designers constantly push the limits of design, creating vessels that continue to challenge newer technologies such as aeroplanes and cars.

But for all of our knowledge about ships acquired from movies, photographs and literature, most of us never actually see really large ships in real life. Unlike cars, trains and airplanes, the great ships of the world travel in the deep oceans, out of sight and out of mind - until, that is, something goes wrong. In Ship, Gregory Votolato explores the fiction and the reality of modern ships, the technology that creates them, and the events that can lead to disasters such as the Titanic or Exxon Valdez. Votolato delves into the world of the ship, describing the unpredictable and often-hostile environment of the oceans and the weather, the threat of piracy and the captains and crews responsible for ships at sea.

Ship's broad overview of technology and design offers unique insights and shows how our ideas about ships do not always reflect the reality of these extraordinary products of human creativity. Votolato's book will appeal to mariners, as well as those who are interested in ships and their social, political and technological impact on our modern world.

‘It is rare that a fresh reconceptualization of the ship comes along, but Gregory Votolato has done so in a trim, well-illustrated effort simply titled Ship . . . this is a magnificent little book that will benefit anyone with an interest in ships, from the greenest of greenhorns to the saltiest sea dog. The author should be commended for grappling with novel ways to conceive of ships, and his book is highly recommended.’ — Sea History

Ship, by Gregory Votolato is an essay on the development of the ship over two hundred years, seen from a designer's rather than a mariner's point of view, with stylish illustrations and chunky production values.’ — Marine Quarterly

‘Traditional maritime historians will find Votolato's survey of ocean-going ships and shipping since the early nineteenth-century both challenging and rewarding . . . This is not, however, an encyclopaedic work. It is, rather, a captivating set of lectures, with slides, given by a presenter who is thoroughly informed, well-prepared and always aware of his audience. The presentation moves gracefully from specific instances to measured generalization. Think of the most illuminating talk you ever heard on the history of art this is what Votolato has done for the history of shipping.’ — International Journal of Maritime History

‘A fascinating, wide-ranging study on maritime shipping - how ships were constructed in different eras, the services they provided, and the experiences of those who traveled on them. Votolato has a keen eye for historical detail and the importance of technological innovation, and he tells his stories in a graceful and persuasive manner. Anyone interested in the design, construction, and operation of ships and their role in human history will find his book a delight.’ — Arthur Donovan, Emeritus Professor of Maritime History, US Merchant Marine Academy, and co-author of a history of container shipping titled The Box That Changed the World.

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Gregory Votolato is a Lecturer at the Victoria & Albert Museum and teaches on the Critical and Historical Studies Vehicle Design Programme at the Royal College of Art, London. He is the author of American Design in the Twentieth Century (1998), Transport Design: A Travel History (Reaktion, 2007) and Ship (Reaktion, 2011).


1   Voyager
2   Myth and Image
3   Conflict
4   Cargo
5   Port

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