20 September 2012

What I'm Reading - September 2012

"A seasoned National Geographic journalist gives us an excellent history of a notable piece of deep-water archaeology and treasure salvage. The Republic went down in 1,700 feet of water off the Carolina coast in fall 1865, overwhelmed by a hurricane while carrying a treasure in gold and silver coins that was intended to revive commerce in New Orleans. Vesilind covers the history of the ship, which served under both flags during the Civil War, and its crew, as well as the painstaking and expensive search for it by partners Greg Stemin and John Morris. The pair had to make new charts of the Gulf Stream to locate the wreck, resolve the conflicts between the archaeological and treasure-hunting aspects of the expedition, and bring up a third of the treasure from a third of a mile down with a converted cable-repair drone. If not as thrilling as Gary Kinder's Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea (1998), Vesilind's book worthily chronicles a notable achievement by persistent explorers."
~ Amazon.com

"The facts speak for themselves. In 1857, the Central America, a sidewheel steamer ferrying passengers fresh from the gold rush of California to New York and laden with 21 tons of California gold, encountered a severe storm off the Carolina coast and sank, carrying more than 400 passengers and all her cargo down with her. She then sat for 132 years, 200 miles offshore and almost two miles below the ocean's surface--a depth at which she was assumed to be unrecoverable--until 1989, when a deep-water research vessel sailed into the harbor at Norfolk, Virginia, fat with salvaged gold coins and bullion estimated to be worth one billion dollars. Author Gary Kinder wisely lets the story of the Columbus-America Discovery Group, led by maverick scientist and entrepreneur Tommy Thompson, unfold without hyperbole." ~ Amazon.com

"Groundbreaking. This research brilliantly unmasks the subtle social, philosophical, and ideological forces behind the exclusion of conservatives and their viewpoints from the academic enterprise." -- Louis Bolce, Associate Professor of Political Science at Baruch College, City University of New York ~ Amazon.com

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