Rough Waters: Sovereignty And The American Merchant Flag, by Rodney Carlisle
From time to time I like to muse upon the fact that as a high school student I was seriously tempted to study at the United States Merchant Marine Academy for college. I am aware that the thought of me being a logistically-inclined merchant mariner on the high seas will likely bring a smile to some people, but those who know me well are very aware of my deep concern with matters of logistics . Given that context, as someone both interested in the subject of logistics as well as a patriotic American, I have been greatly concerned with the tendency among many shipping companies to use flags of convenience to reduce the security and well-being of those workers involved in shipping, and to see to avoid regulations while simultaneously seeking to increase their own profits. As someone with these concerns, it would make sense that I would find it profitable and useful to read a book on concerns about international law and flags of convenience and their implications for the American merchant marine.
In looking through the book, I can see chapters on the early history of the American merchant marine during times of war (War of 1812 and the Civil War) and peace, various obscure prize decisions, the merchant marine’s role as part of the causus belli for World War I, a look at the forgotten role of Danzig, Panama, issues of neutrality, the Marshall Islands, and questions of second registers and port-state control. I am not sure to what extent this book is of interest to the wider public, but I do know that in flipping idly through this book before I read it, the book is of strong personal interest to me, and promises to be an exciting and worthwhile read, and a worthwhile addition to my own personal collection of works on maritime history.
 See, for example: