U.S. Life-Saving Service: Heroes, Rescues and Architecture of the Early Coast Guard

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9780930268169: U.S. Life-Saving Service: Heroes, Rescues and Architecture of the Early Coast Guard
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U.S. Life-Saving Service: Heroes, Rescues and Architecture of the Early Coast Guard is the winner of the first Foundation for Coast Guard History Award in the category Best Book on Coast Guard History. This is the saga of the rescues, boats, equipment and stations. These were courageous early Coast Guard surfmen whose regulations said they had to go out no matter how storm-tossed the sea; the regulations did not say anything about coming back. The stories are unique and unforgettable. There was the brilliant and beautiful woman who changed the world s rescue work...the lone survivor of a life-saving crew...the day the surfmen saved the Wright brother s plane...the night Marconi filed the sky with strange sights and sounds and sent surfmen running...the unsung women rescuers...the strange dream that foretold a shipwreck...the surfman who traveled 25,000 miles in a survival suit.

The book is richly illustrated with rare, fine photographs of nearly every American life-saving station drawn from the archives of the Coast Guard, National Park Service, National Archives, universities and private collections, nearly all published for the first time. There is state by state coverage of the Atlantic Coast, Pacific Coast, and Great Lakes.

J. Revell Carr, long-time director of Mystic Seaport Museum described U.S. Life-Saving Service, as a book of extraordinary drama intriguing to anyone with an interest in the sea or in American architecture. Colin MacKenzie, director of the Natural Research Center called the book highly readable with great stories of life-saving. The best book by far on the subject.

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About the Author:

Ralph Shanks is a maritime historian and anthropologist who specializes in two subjects, Coast Guard history and Native American Studies. He has served as vice president of the U.S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association, and was founding editor of Wreck & Rescue Journal. Mr. Shanks is the author of four books on Coast Guard history. His articles on the early Coast Guard have been published in maritime journals and he is a frequent speaker on the subject. For over three decades Ralph Shanks has extensively interviewed surfmen and lighthouse keepers, researched archives, and has been honored to be aboard dozens of Coast Guard vessels and a guest at many stations. He has a masters degree.

Wick York has served as Architectural Restoration Specialist for Mystic Seaport in Connecticut. He is well known for his restoration expertise in early life-saving stations, lighthouses and other historic structures. He has compiled the most complete set of information on life-saving stations and early Coast Guard in the nation. He is responsible for the architectural section of the book which chronicles our beautiful and historic Coast Guard stations. Mr. York has a masters degree.

Review:

I'll make no bones about it. I'm a Coast Guard historian, so I approach the reading of this book differently than most others. As editor of a magazine dedicated to the history of the U.S Life-Saving Service and early U.S. Coast Guard, I need handy reference books around at all times, and Shanks' and York's The United States Life-Saving Service: Heroes, Rescues and Architecture of the Early Coast Guard is by far the most important book ever published in this field. It doesn't matter what question comes up; if it has to do with the old surfmen and keepers, the answer is inevitably in this book.
The book is divided into chapters representing each of the old Life-Saving Service districts, and details the story of each region of the country through an unrivaled postcard and photograph collection and highlighted tales of heroism and tragedy. Interspersed are tales of other important issues regarding the history of the service: the development of life-saving technology, the role of minorities in this 19th century organization, and much more.
A special added feature is the end chapter on architecture - Mr. York's contribution - that expands on his master's thesis on the structures of the USLSS.
The USLSS is a forgotten institution, nationally, although the tales of its heroes once gripped the hearts of Americans across the country. Pick up this book to learn the full story of the predecessor organization to today's Coast Guard, and to understand the ethos behind the motto, You have to go out, you don't have to come back. --John Galluzzo

This great book won the first ever Foundation for Coast Guard History award in the category: Best Book on Coast Guard History!
It is hard to put this exciting book down. The stories of rescues, stations, boats, equipment and the people themselves are amazing and the illustrations of rare, never before published photos truly lavish Every area of the country is covered. You feel you actually get to know these heroic early Coast Guard surfmen personally. --Surfman

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9780930268152: Us Life Saving Service: Heroes, Rescues, and Architecture of the Early Coast Guard

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