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Diving Pioneers and Innovators: A Series of In-Depth Interviews Hardcover – 15 Oct 2007

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Hardcover, 15 Oct 2007
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£89.00 £44.67
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This book manages to combine humour, adventure, tragedy, triumph, heroism, and even some forays into the risque...while chronicling the careers of 20 enduring personalities that helped make diving what it is today. Some of those interviewed are retired now, one (author Peter Benchley of Jaws fame) recently passed away, and many are still making history through their ongoing work. It's quite a group. Featured Interviews are with: Bob Ballard, Peter Benchley, Dick Bonin, Ernie Brooks, John Chatterton, Mike deGruy, Al Giddings, Bret Gilliam, Howard and Michele Hall, Bob Hollis, Paul Humann, Greg MacGillivray, Bev Morgan, Chuck Nicklin, Ron and Val Taylor, Zale Parry, Wes Skiles and Stan Waterman. Consider that the line-up includes actress and Sea Hunt star Zale Parry who also set the depth record for women divers back in 1954.Stan Waterman provides both the book's Foreword and a revealing insider look at his seven decades in diving. Living legend Bev Morgan pioneered the first dive training programs along with revolutionising commercial diving equipment. His image in full hardhat dress also graces the book's cover.

Morgan's candour and humour set the pace for the lively montage of dialogues to follow with Australian couple Ron and Valerie Taylor who rose to fame in the iconic shark documentary film "Blue Water, White Death". They are joined by others from diving's first generation including filmmaker Al Giddings ("The Deep", "Abyss", "Titanic", etc.), retail pioneer and cameraman Chuck Nicklin ("The Diving Locker"), manufacturers Dick Bonin ("Scubapro") and Bob Hollis ("Oceanic"), photography masters Ernie Brooks and Paul Humann, as well as deep ocean explorer Dr. Bob Ballard who discovered the wrecks of the Titanic, Bismarck, and PT-109.Diving's second generation of innovators includes cave explorer Wes Skiles, filmmaker Mike deGruy, wreck explorer John Chatterton (of "Shadow Divers" fame), IMAX film producer Greg MacGillivray, and the dynamic husband/wife team of Howard and Michele Hall who seem to dominate the realm of documentary underwater films now ("Island of the Sharks", "Coral Reef Adventure", "Deep Sea 3D").

Last but not least, Stan Waterman talked Gilliam into sitting for an interview about his own amazing career and, typically, he shares a wicked sense of humor along with some biting perspective about what it was like to champion new technologies and daring approaches to diving business when the sport's ultra-conservatives wanted to suppress nitrox, liveaboards, technical diving, diving computers, training methods, and honest journalism.Each chapter is a slice of human interest that lets the reader briefly pull back the curtain on the personal lives of diving's heroes and feel like they are part of the conversation. The book is lavishly illustrated with great photographs that capture each interviewee throughout their diving careers. It's a very personal journey and the reader will feel like they pulled up a chair and shared a cup of coffee around a table with each person. Gilliam enlisted help from other leading writers for some interviews he couldn't conduct himself and Fred Garth, Lina Hitchcock, Eric Hanauer, Douglas Seifert and Michel Gilbert & Danielle Alary all make significant contributions to round out the book.

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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Educating Divers of all Ages 8 Feb. 2008
By David Haas - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
For all those new divers (less than 10 years of activity) this book will really open their eyes to how sport diving, exploring and sharing the underwater world via images came about. Plus diving as a work activity and Bev Morgan's contribution helping commercial divers push the limits of that arena.

If you started diving way back in 1969 like I did, the stories and interviews with names you will recognize make reading this a delight. I practically read it straight through in 3-4 days!

Bret Gilliam may be a bit controversial, but he tells it like many already think including politics, business dealings and more of the underwater world.

Buy it!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A diver's must read 20 Dec. 2012
By Beck - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Bought this for my husband, as he is a diver, and he loves it. Definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in this field.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book about the pioneers of the sport and commercial ... 14 Dec. 2014
By Andrew Hartley - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Excellent book about the pioneers of the sport and commercial diving community. This is a must read to know history of the art of diving and technical diving.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok 7 Dec. 2011
By Artvino - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Informative but not that much. More like a picture book with brief details of the subjects. It could have used less pictures and more people.
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