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Harbor of Spies


A captivating thriller-at-sea set in Spanish colonial Havana in the 1860s.
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Discuss Harbor of Spies by Robin Lloyd:
What is your view of blockade running?

Created: 05/17/18

Replies: 12

Posted May. 17, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1626

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What is your view of blockade running?

The author quotes William Watson's account: "Blockade running was not regarded as either unlawful or dishonorable, but rather as a bold and daring enterprise." Do you agree in general? How about in the context of the book?


Posted May. 19, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Cynthia

Join Date: 06/07/17

Posts: 36

RE: What is your view of blockade running?

I found it interesting that blockade running wasn't thought of as unlawful or dishonorable. I would think sides would be taken, like religion and politics, good and bad, right and wrong, depending on what side you're supporting. But during this period it was simply considered a job or profession. But both sides did view it as "bold and daring!" I viewed it as stealthy and exhilarating as well.


Posted May. 20, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
renem

Join Date: 12/01/16

Posts: 185

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RE: What is your view of blockade running?

How could it be unlawful if there are opposing laws for each side? Commerce will find a way to continue no matter what.


Posted May. 21, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
RuthEh

Join Date: 07/31/17

Posts: 18

RE: What is your view of blockade running?

I love that the story was set in Cuba, where I had heard about blockades but didn't know the depth of it. This was a very exciting part of the book. I like sailing and could just image what it was like. Most dangerous events are money motivated, greed over takes laws in this instance. There were some laws in place because the Navy was confiscating ships, slaves and goods. Blockades were playing against the odds. While I dislike the intent of these blockades, Townsend walked a very fine line in participating. So glad he finally revealed his true feelings in the end.


Posted May. 27, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
frederickm

Join Date: 05/27/18

Posts: 1

RE: What is your view of blockade running?

Living in coastal North Carolina, near the epicenter of the Atlantic blockade running (Wilmington, NC), we continue to see that the blockade runners of this area are still considered by most to be lovable rogues, much like the current (largely romanticized) view of another local group-- pirates like Blackbeard and his ilk.


Posted May. 27, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 330

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RE: What is your view of blockade running?

I think of blockade running sort of like pirates or people that go around conventional ways of doing things. I think of it more negative than positive of romantic.


Posted May. 30, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
andreab

Join Date: 07/29/14

Posts: 101

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RE: What is your view of blockade running?

The only thing I knew about blockade running was what I learned from Gone With the Wind. Rhett was so daring :)
Blockade runners were romanticized for their courage but it was more likely their wallets that motivated them. Supply and demand definitely worked in their favor.


Posted May. 31, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alissac

Join Date: 05/14/15

Posts: 49

RE: What is your view of blockade running?

I foundo the topic of blockade running so interesting bc, as someone else mentioned, my only knowledge of such a thing cane from Gone With the Wind :). It seemed like a practice that would naturally stem from the war, as supplies and trade were cut off- necessity is the mother of invention, a new way to trade and thrive emerged. It’s just amazing that anyone could have been successful in blockade running, considering the vehicles at their disposal- it’s tough to picture wind-powered ships being able to out run each other ;)


Posted May. 31, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
catherynez

Join Date: 01/27/18

Posts: 16

RE: What is your view of blockade running?

I don’t know much about blockade running but I think it’s unlawful and very risky. In the book, it seems common although probably illegal.


Posted May. 31, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Mary Beth K

Join Date: 05/31/18

Posts: 3

RE: What is your view of blockade running?

I’ve read many books about the Civil War and blockades were always mentioned, but not as in-depth as this book. I learned so many new facts about Cuba’s role in the War.


Posted Jun. 02, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jenbrinkley

Join Date: 04/05/16

Posts: 4

RE: What is your view of blockade running?

I view blockade running as a business proposition. The venture was risky, but profitable for those who put up money to run blockades. There was also an element of adventure and that drove those involved to continue sailing under constant dangerous circumstances. It's hard to imagine how captains navigated their ships with such rudimentary tools let alone when outrunning unfriendly fire.


Posted Jun. 03, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
PinkLady

Join Date: 01/22/18

Posts: 40

RE: What is your view of blockade running?

I think it was wrong and was simply a way for bad people to get rich. It was done mostly to support the war, not starving people so there was no moral value. And since I am completely anti-slavery, I did not like e South being supported.


Posted Jun. 22, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
viquig

Join Date: 06/25/14

Posts: 24

RE: What is your view of blockade running?

I believe blockade running is inevitable. People in a blockaded community need supplies and are willing to pay top dollar for them. There are always others who are willing to risk their lives to get paid a generous profit for delivering these supplies. Morality aside, it's a question of supply and demand.


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