If you get a chance, read Dynasties of the Sea: The Shipowners and Financiers Who Expanded the Era of Free Trade by Lori Ann LaRocco. I began Dynasties of the Sea with great anticipation mainly because I had just finished The Shipping Man by Matthew McCleery. McCleery writes the introduction to Dynasties and I wanted a look inside to see if I could figure out which shipping magnate The Shipping Man was loosely based upon. It was pretty easy to figure out. After you read both books submit a comment below and let me know who you think it is.
As a lover of ships and shipping, Dynasties was an enlightening read for me. One by one the book introduces the reader to the greatest current leaders in shipping from around the world. Many of them are individuals and some are families. It is remarkable how disparate the owners’ philosophies are related to the maritime industry and the world economy in general. I expected a homogenous take on the direction of shipping and the economy but there is no consistent message except that to be successful in shipping you have to live it, work hard, and have a lot of luck. As different as each of the leaders is, they all are incredibly successful in the same sector. It just goes to show how unique shipping is as an industry.
If you enjoy either business or the maritime industry this book is a must read. Nowhere else can you get an insider’s view on the varied perspectives of the owners, investors, and operators of various shipping companies from around the world. It is a very entertaining way to get a Master’s primer on maritime.
I love ships and the maritime industry so Dynasties of the Sea was a pleasure to read. But I think anyone with an interest in global economics or business in general would enjoy the leadership lessons it contains. Dynasties should be an addition to your bookshelf or Kindle library. I hope Ms. LaRocco is already working on Dynasties II.