Mark Levinson

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Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

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This review was submitted by mauzenne.

I almost recommend The Box, by Mark Levinson.

Part of the book is fascinating: it talks about the history of the lowly-seeming shipping container, which revolutionized shipping through standardization.  I typically like detailed historical accounts like this, highlighting something that is easily unseen but plays an enormous role in our lives.

When you read about how longshoremen slowed its spread, and how the majority of shipping costs were not in distance but in handling, you get a real sense of how many innovations and improvements have fueled commerce over the past half a century.

Nevertheless, there is a lot in this book that is unnecessary.  Some of the discussions of New York City's ports, and the union involvement, seemed to be given too much weight.  And in other places, details are missing that would have added a great deal.

Is it good?  Yes.  Would I read it again?  Nope.

Should you read it if you're in the shipping industry, or want more of the The World is Flat mantra?  Yes!