The Yard: Building a Destroyer at the Bath Iron Works

Sanders, Michael S.

Published by HarperCollins, 1999
ISBN 10: 0060192461 / ISBN 13: 9780060192464
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Synopsis: Illustrates the building of and launching of the USS Donald Cook at the Bath Iron Works in Bath Main using photographs and human interest stories of the people who work in these shipyards. DLC: Destroyers (Warships)--U.S.

Review: Michael S. Sanders describes the birth of a ship with the love of a parent, relating how the naval destroyer USS Donald Cook was "assembled over four years piece by piece, steel plate by steel plate, from the first half-moon slices of keel to topmost radar mast, almost by hand." The Yard is a land-based tale focusing on the thousands of men and women in Bath, Maine, who practice the old craft of shipbuilding. Their business has adapted itself to modern ways, but Sanders intriguingly shows how ancient Phoenicians would nevertheless recognize important parts of today's construction process. Sanders spends plenty of time explaining what goes into making a ship: the engineering, the materials, and the labor. He also tells of an industry in peril, as American shipyards compete against foreign builders whose governments subsidize their work. Yet The Yard is ultimately about ordinary people who build: "electricians, pipefitters, welders, braziers, tinknockers, riggers, anglesmiths, straighteners, blasters, and shipfitters" plus "legions of naval architects, draftsmen, and marine engineers." The Yard may lack the dazzle of Blind Man's Bluff and its stories of submarine espionage, but it will hold a similarly strong attraction for readers drawn to human endeavor on the open sea and what makes it possible. --John J. Miller

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Title: The Yard: Building a Destroyer at the Bath ...
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: 1999
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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