The descriptive data in this book, first published in 1989, were obtained from participant observation and interviews with merchant seaman current and retired. In addition there is reprinted a complete set of the laws relating to American seaman between 1918-1970. Together they provide a comprehensive understanding of the historical events surrounding the American merchant seaman, the creation of maritime policy, and the policy itself.

1. An Historical View of US Maritime Policy  2. Conflict within the Industry  3. The Marginal Lifestyle of the Seaman  4. The Stigmatized Occupation  5. Sea Daddy: A Look at a Vanishing Breed  6. The Changing Marine Engineer  7. Epilogue: The Swan Song of the American Seaman