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Devils on the Deep Blue Sea: The Dreams, Schemes and Showdowns That Built America's Cruise-Ship Empires
Synopses & Reviews
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 industr‛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 Boat in 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 Sea is 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.
"It's hard to imagine now, but when The Love Boat premiered in 1977, it was considered so sexually suggestive that Princess Cruises almost didn't allow the show to film on its ships because they were afraid it would give people the wrong image. Yet, in the long run, Garin points out, the series proved to be a critical factor in repositioning ocean cruises as an attractive luxury for middle-class consumers. Just a few years ago, Princess and three competitors accounted for almost 90 percent of the cruise industry's $13 billion annual revenues; when Princess began merger talks with Royal Caribbean, rival firm Carnival swooped in, made the deal themselves and wound up controlling more than half the market. Carnival's founder, the late Ted Arison, provides this lively industry history with one of its most engrossing narrative threads, from the running aground of his original flagship's maiden voyage to his emergence as one of the world's wealthiest individuals. But Garin's as interested in the ships themselves as he is in the boardrooms, and he turns up disturbing stories of corrupt labor practices and cover-ups of sexual assaults of passengers by crew members. The solid reporting ensures readers will come away with a healthy respect for Garin's work and for the very powerful industry he documents. " Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Book News Annotation:
With the rise of cheap, reliable air travel in the 1950s, the industry of cruise shipping had to reinvent itself in order to survive. This text tells the story of the business visionaries who transformed ocean cruising from an outmoded form of transportation into floating hotels that rake in $13 billion annually from vacationers. Journalist Garin also explains how a system of foreign registry enables cruise lines to avoid taxes, U.S. labor laws, and any accountability for environmental crimes.
Annotation ©2005 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Few businesses in America today are as colorful, lucrative, and innovative as cruise shipping, and this is 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.
In this terrifically entertaining history, Kristoffer A. Garin chronicles the cruise-ship industry, from its rise in the early sixties, to its explosion in the seventies with the hit show The Love Boat, to the current vicious consolidation wars and brazen tax dodges. Entrepreneurial genius and bare-knuckle 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.
A colorful and compelling behind-the-scenes narrative, Devils on the Deep Blue Sea is a definitive look at the industry and its robber barons who created floating empires.
About the Author
Kristoffer A. Garin is a journalist who has written for the New York Daily News and the Journal News in Westchester, New York.
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