Wrecks and Rescues of the Great Lakes

A Photographic History
The waters of the Great Lakes are among the most treacherous in the world. Violent storms churn up waves and unpredictable currents capsize large vessels or cast them onto shoals and rocks where they are battered to pieces. An estimated 10,000 ships have fallen prey to the fury of the Great Lakes during the 150 years of their navigational history. This figure compares to an equal number of disasters which have occurred over the past 300 years around the British Isles. Yet despite the fascinating nature of the topic and the enormity of the problem, there has been an absence of informative published material on this theme. James P. Barry's Wrecks and Rescues of the Great Lakes fills the gap. Shipwrecks on the Great Lakes began almost as soon as there were ships to be wrecked. One of the first vessels built there by the French, the Frontenac, was wrecked in 1679. The book reveals the severity of the weather through dramatic photographs of shipwrecks, and graphic descriptions of the events surrounding them. The Victorian and Edwardian wrecks on the Canadian shore are depicted in minute detail. The photographs of the wrecks on the American side between 1881 and 1910 show the frailty of those vessels. However, the more modern ships of the '20s and '30s were not immune to the power of the lakes. This fact becomes increasing clear in the depiction of recent disasters and daring rescue attempts. The moving description of the tragic loss of the Edmund Fitzgerald makes the reader keenly aware of the present dangers.

James P. Barry Jim Barry's history of the maritime disasters of the Great Lakes is well researched and documented. It includes 149 black-and-white photographs of wrecks from the late 19th century as well as the 20th century. The author includes a comprehensive bibliography, notes, and an index. James Barry made his first voyage on a lake freighter at the age of eight, and soon afterward learned to sail in a Mackinaw boat. His interest in the Great Lakes continued through a career as a Regular Army Officer, a university administrator, director of an arts organization, and editor of a quarterly review. Seven of his previous books have dealt with various aspects of the Lakes. Barry's other published books include: Ships of the Great Lakes: Georgian Bay, The Sixth Great Lake; The Fate of the Lakes; The Battle of Lake Erie; The Great Lakes and Georgian Bay an Illustrated History. Barry's newest title, Old Forts of the Great Lakes: Sentinels in the Wilderness, continues the tradition of comprehensively researched and dramatically presented titles about the Great Lakes and their history.

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