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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

New Book: Chinese Junks on the Pacific

Hans Konrad Van Tilburg's new book, Chinese Junks on the Pacific: Views from a Different Deck from the University Press of Florida received a very favorable review in the new issue of Sea History (no. 120, autumn 2007, p.53-54, available from the National Maritime Historical Society). In his review, Timothy J. Runyan emphasizes "the rather unlikely selection of twentieth-century representatives," which is what I find intriguing about this book--unlike many other books about junks, Van Tilburg details voyages between 1906 and 1989, using their examples to explore not only the vessels but also the sociological issues of Western perceptions--and mis-perceptions. These explorations make this book noteworthy to those interested in aspects of maritime culture beyond the material culture--to those interested not only in the architecture and shipbuilding of the vessels, but how the vessels were sailed, to where they were sailed, and what reception they found when they arrived.

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