The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World

The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World

Hardback

By (author) Lincoln P. Paine

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  • Publisher: ATLANTIC BOOKS
  • Format: Hardback | 784 pages
  • Dimensions: 156mm x 234mm x 63mm | 1,430g
  • Publication date: 2 June 2014
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1782393552
  • ISBN 13: 9781782393559
  • Illustrations note: illustrations (black and white, and colour), maps (black and white)
  • Sales rank: 99,537

Product description

A monumental, wholly accessible work of scholarship that retells human history through the story of mankind's relationship with the sea. An accomplishment of both great sweep and illuminating detail, The Sea and Civilization is a stunning work of history that reveals in breathtaking depth how people first came into contact with one another by ocean and river, and how goods, languages, religions, and entire cultures spread across and along the world's waterways. Lincoln Paine takes us back to the origins of long-distance migration by sea with our ancestors' first forays from Africa and Eurasia to Australia and the Americas. He demonstrates the critical role of maritime trade to the civilizations of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, and the Indus Valley. He reacquaints us with the great seafaring cultures of antiquity like those of the Phoenicians and Greeks, as well as those of India, Southeast and East Asia who parlayed their navigational skills, shipbuilding techniques, and commercial acumen to establish vibrant overseas colonies and trade routes in the centuries leading up to the age of European overseas expansion. His narrative traces subsequent developments in commercial and naval shipping through the post-Cold War era. Above all, Paine makes clear how the rise and fall of civilizations can be traced to the sea.

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Author information

Lincoln Paine is the author of four books and more than fifty articles, reviews, and lectures on various aspects of maritime history. He lives in Portland, Maine.

Review quote

"Elegantly written and encyclopedic in scope, with an expert grasp of the demands of seamanship in every age, "The Sea and Civilization" deserves a wide readership. For landlocked historians, it will be a powerful stimulus to dip their toes--and perhaps their pens--in saltwater and for readers a forceful reminder that the urge to "go down to the sea in ships" has shaped civilizations and cultures in every period and in every part of the globe." --"The Wall Street Journal""A magnificently sweeping world history that takes us from the people of Oceania and concludes with the container. In contrast to most books on maritime history, the majority of "The Sea and Civilisation" covers the history of the world before Columbus sailed the ocean blue and at least as much of the narrative focuses on Asia as it does on Europe." "--"Ben Wilson, "The Telegraph ""Paine is full of such illuminating facts. . . [He] forestalls any western bias with excellent chapters on Asian expansion. . . 'The sea held no promise for slaves, coolies, indentured servants, or the dispossessed', Paine reminds us, and while it is 'fickle and unforgiving, it is a fragile environment susceptible to human depredation on a scale unimaginable to our ancestors'. And yet, whose heart does not sing out when they see the sea? Our last resort, it still holds its promise and its power." "--"Philip Hoare, " New Statesman ""Herzog once remarked: 'The feeling crept over me that my work, my vision, is going to destroy me, and for a fleeting moment I let myself take a long, hard look at myself . . . to see whether my vision has not destroyed me already. I found it comforting to note that I was still breathing.' That same quality of an all-consuming vision oozes from Paine's book. His passion is to tell the story of the sea. History is seldom written with that kind of passion today." --Gerard DeGroot, " The Times ""Even though the Earth's surface is 70% water,