Monday, June 04, 2007

Uncommon Carriers

Had I known a month ago that John McPhee had written Uncommon Carriers I would have planned to read it along with The World Is Flat. As it is, McPhee's book caught my eye as I was browsing the new books at the library.
This is a compelling book about how goods are transported. I know how odd that sounds, but after reading this book I'll never look at 18-wheelers, trains, or barges the same way I used to. With the exception of one chapter which retraced Henry David Thoreau's trip with his brother, John, up the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, this book was so fascinating, I couldn't put it down. (I have no love for Thoreau - he puts me to sleep, and I don't read to go to sleep.)
There's even a chapter about UPS, and one about a pond in the Alpine foothills where skippers learn to manage ships in tight situations - amazing stuff.



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