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The Docks

"The Docks" is an eye-opening journey into a giant madhouse of activity that few outsiders ever see: the Port of Los Angeles. In a book woven throughout with riveting novelist detail and illustrated with photographs that capture the frenetic energy of the place, Bill Sharpsteen tells the story of the people who have made this port, the largest in the country, one of the nation's most vital economic enterprises. Among others, we meet a pilot who parks ships, one of the first women longshoremen, union officials and employers at odds over almost everything, an environmental activist fighting air pollution in the 'diesel death zone,' and those with the nearly impossible job of enforcing security. Together these stories paint a compelling picture of a critical entryway for goods coming into the country - the Port of Los Angeles is part of a complex that brings in 40 per cent of all our waterborne cargo and 70 per cent of all Asian imports - yet one that is also extremely vulnerable. "The Docks" is a rare look at a world within our world in which we find a microcosm of the labor, environmental, and security issues we collectively face.
Product Details

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations Preface Introduction 1. Valet Parking 2. A Carpet of Containers 3. Moving Cans 4. The Landlord 5. The Diesel Death Zone 6. The Union 7. The Employers 8. The Importer 9. The Shipper 10. Los Troqueros 11. The Hold Men 12. The Women 13. The Clerk 14. Security 15. The New Normal 16. Hawse Piper References Index

About the Author

Bill Sharpsteen is a writer and photographer based in Los Angeles. He is the author of Dirty Water: One Man's Fight to Clean Up One of the World's Most Polluted Bays (UC Press), and his articles have appeared in the Los Angeles Times Magazine, Los Angeles Magazine, and The Washington Post. He is also an award-winning documentary producer.


"Wildly enlightening ... Skillfully teases out the port's role within the global economy and how every American depends upon the people who make it work." Zyzzyva "Provides an engrossing tour of the place where your easy chair, your children's toys and the shirt on your back most likely came ashore." Wall Street Journal "A fascinating read." California Lawyer "A fine-grained view of how the world's trade is kept flowing." Onearth "Beautifully illuminating." Santa Barbara News-Press "An excellent and entertaining book." -- Bob Walch Bookloons Reviews

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