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Chinese Junks on the Pacific: Views from a Different Deck (New Perspectives on Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology)
by:Hans Konrad Van Tilburg
“It is Van Tilburg’s goal to broaden our understanding of Chinese nautical technology, to explore the evolution of Chinese vessels between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries, to investigate the differences between Chinese and Western ships and, in the absence of historical documents, to read the vessels themselves as cultural artefacts [sic] or texts...
“It is Van Tilburg’s goal to broaden our understanding of Chinese nautical technology, to explore the evolution of Chinese vessels between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries, to investigate the differences between Chinese and Western ships and, in the absence of historical documents, to read the vessels themselves as cultural artefacts [sic] or texts that contain historical information regarding their construction and functions that would otherwise be lost to history.”—International Journal of Maritime History“This monograph is rather unusual, not because it deals with old-fashioned Chinese ships but because it treats surviving ships as living records of China’s pre-modern shipbuilding and shipping practices at an archaeological and anthropological juncture. This is a welcome move in scholarship.”—Mariner’s Mirror“Seeks to introduce Chinese agency into Pacific history by focusing on the voyage of ten junks that crossed the Pacific between 1905 and 1989. . . . Reveals the multifarious history behind these vessels and the stereotypes held by an intrigued American public witnessing their arrival.”—Bulletin of the Pacific Circle“This important and original study, with the rather unlikely selection of twentieth-century representatives, reaches far beyond that era to explain the historical and cultural significance of a vessel type poorly understood by westerners.”—Sea History“Successfully shows how Chinese oceangoing junks are linked to the West, both in the past and the present.”—Historical Archaeology“Van Tilburg’s whole-hearted admiration of the achievements of Chinese ship-builders and sailors underlies his exploration of their role in the modern North American and Chinese maritime culture.” —Cheryl Ward, Florida State UniversityHans Konrad Van Tilburg, maritime heritage coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is the author of A Civil War Gunboat in Pacific Waters: Life on Board USSSaginaw.
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