Theodore J. Karamanski’s sweeping maritime history, Mastering the Inland Seas: How Lighthouses, Navigational Aids, and Harbors Transformed the Great Lakes and America, demonstrates the far-ranging impact that the tools and infrastructure developed for navigating the Great Lakes had on the national economies, politics and environment of continental North America. Blending popular and original historical scholarship, Karamanski weaves a colorful narrative illustrating how disparate private and government interests transformed these vast and dangerous waters into the world’s largest inland water-transportation system.
Ultimately, the expansive Mastering the Inland Sea shows the undeniable environmental impact of technologies used by the modern commercial maritime industry and illuminates the symbiotic relationship between infrastructure investment in the region’s interconnected waterways and North America’s lasting economic and political development. Karamanski is a professor of history at Loyola University of Chicago. Mastering the Inland Sea will be available in April.