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Seller: ancientgifts (4,181) 99.3%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 381795906676 TRANSLATE Arabic Chinese French German Greek Indonesian Italian Hindi Japanese Korean Swedish Portuguese Russian Spanish Your browser does not support JavaScript. To view this page, enable JavaScript if it is disabled or upgrade your browser. Click here to see 1,000 archaeology/ancient history books and 2,000 ancient artifacts, antique gemstones, antique jewelry! ”The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World” by Lincoln Paine. NOTE: We have 75,000 books in our library, almost 10,000 different titles. Odds are we have other copies of this same title in varying conditions, some less expensive, some better condition. We might also have different editions as well (some paperback, some hardcover, oftentimes international editions). If you don’t see what you want, please contact us and ask. We’re happy to send you a summary of the differing conditions and prices we may have for the same title. DESCRIPTION: Hardcover with dustjacket. Publisher: Knopf (2013). Pages: 784. Size: 9¾ x 7¼ x 2 inches; 3 pounds. A monumental retelling of world history through the lens of maritime enterprise, revealing in breathtaking depth how people first came into contact with one another by ocean and river, lake and stream, and how goods, languages, religions, and entire cultures spread across and along the world’s waterways, bringing together civilizations and defining what makes us most human. 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, 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 and Southeast and East Asia, who parlayed their navigational skills, shipbuilding techniques, and commercial acumen to establish thriving overseas colonies and trade routes in the centuries leading up to the age of European expansion. And finally, his narrative traces how commercial shipping and naval warfare brought about the enormous demographic, cultural, and political changes that have globalized the world throughout the post–Cold War era. This tremendously readable intellectual adventure shows us the world in a new light, in which the sea reigns supreme. We find out how a once-enslaved East African king brought Islam to his people, what the American “sail-around territories” were, and what the Song Dynasty did with twenty-wheel, human-powered paddleboats with twenty paddle wheels and up to three hundred crew. Above all, Paine makes clear how the rise and fall of civilizations can be linked to the sea. An accomplishment of both great sweep and illuminating detail, The Sea and Civilization is a stunning work of history. CONDITION: NEW. New (albeit remaindered) hardcover with dustjacket. Knopf (2013) 784 pages. Unblemished, unmarked, pristine in every respect EXCEPT that there is a remainder "dot" (drawn with a red marker) on the bottom surface of the closed page edges indicating that the book was unsold surplus inventory). The mark is not visible of course on individual opened pages, only to the mass of closed page edges. Pages are pristine; clean, crisp, (otherwise) unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound, unambiguously unread. The dustjacket evidences very, very faint (almost indiscernible) edge and corner shelfwear (but of course no tears or significant blemishes). Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. PROMPT SHIPPING! HEAVILY PADDED, DAMAGE-FREE PACKAGING! Meticulous and accurate descriptions! Selling rare and out-of-print ancient history books on-line since 1997. We accept returns for any reason within 14 days! #8649d. PLEASE SEE DESCRIPTIONS AND IMAGES BELOW FOR DETAILED REVIEWS AND FOR PAGES OF PICTURES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW. PUBLISHER REVIEWS: REVIEW: A monumental, wholly accessible work of scholarship that retells human history through the lens of maritime travel, revealing 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. An accomplishment of both great sweep and illuminating detail, The Sea and Civilization is a stunning work of history. REVIEW: TABLE OF CONTENTS: Illustrations. Maps. Acknowledgments. A Note on Measurements. 1. Taking to the Water. 2. The River and Seas of Ancient Egypt. 3. Bronze Age Seafaring. 4. Phoenicians, Greeks, and the Mediterranean. 5. Carthage, Rome, and the Mediterranean. 6. Chasing the Monsoons. 7. Continent and Archipelagoes in the East. 8. The Christian and Muslim Mediterranean. 9. Northern Europe Through the Viking Age. 10. The Silk Road of the Seas. 11. China Looks Seaward. 12. The Medieval Mediterranean and Europe. 13. The Golden Age of Maritime Asia. 14. The World Encompassed. 15. The Birth of Global Trade. 16. State and Sea in the Age of European Expansion. 17. Northern Europe Ascendant. 18. "Annihilation of Space and Time". 19. Naval power in Steam and Steel. 20. The Maritime World Since the 1950s. Notes. Bibliography. Index. REVIEW: 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, with his wife, Allison. PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: 'I want to change the way you see the world," says Lincoln Paine at the beginning of his history of mankind's encounter with the sea. It's a worthy goal and superbly realized. Most of us have almost forgotten about the sea, and very few of us have any reason to ponder its historical significance. Hardly anyone in the West travels by water except on that fake voyage, the cruise. The sea is merely a playground: for the mass on the beach; for the rich on a yacht. Few even earn a living from it. The once-great fisheries of the North Atlantic have been decimated. Ships' crews are recruited elsewhere. Fifty years ago, docks and wharves were at the heart of the West's great cities. They heaved with the mass of bales and bags, swung ashore by cranes and derricks and manhandled by armies of stevedores. Today the docks have been banished or are eerily deserted, and it takes a great effort of the imagination—or perhaps a trip to the Indonesian archipelago—to recapture the fierceness with which the sea once gripped the lives, hopes and fears of all those who lived near the shore. Yet, as Mr. Paine points out in "The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World," we still depend upon the sea, and indeed our dependence is growing. Some 90% of the volume of world trade travels by sea. The container revolution of the 1950s and '60s, brilliantly described in the last chapter of the book, has driven down the costs of seaborne transport by more than 80%: It is one of the keys to contemporary "globalization." Anyone on a ferry or cruise ship in Northern Europe's narrow seas will be astonished not just by the volume of maritime traffic but also by the forests of wind turbines and the ubiquitous oil and gas platforms that harvest energy from the sea. Almost certainly we are only at the pioneering stage of our exploitation of the seabed—vast new continents that await partition. Maritime disputes threaten the peace of East Asia. Mr. Paine's aim isn't just to remind us of the importance of the sea but also to insist on its role as the pivot of world history. The big histories of the world have usually been written by landlubbers, for whom the sea is an empty space to be crossed. All the real action takes place ashore. No less striking has been the assumption among Western historians that the sea was of marginal interest until Europeans asserted their command of the oceans; that mastery of the seas was a uniquely European achievement and the secret of their global domination. On these and other delusions, Mr. Paine pours a bath of cold saltwater. But "The Sea and Civilization" is a history, not a polemic: It is by the careful retelling of our experience of the sea, using an astonishing mass of the most up-to-date evidence, that Mr. Paine persuades us. He begins at the beginning—with the first experiments in "water-craft." Far from shying away from the water as an alien element, mankind set out to exploit it for travel, food and trade from the earliest times. The first voyages across open water that we can trace were made 50,000 years ago. Voyages out of sight of land are at least 13,000 years old. And these pioneering endeavors took place not in Europe but in the South Pacific, a region into which Europeans scarcely penetrated before the later 18th century. In successive chapters, the author traces the history of navigation, shipbuilding and seaborne exchange from ancient Egypt through the classical world, the early Arab seafarers, the Chinese (whose greatest seaman— Zheng He, the Chinese Capt. Cook—reached the African coast in the early 1400s), the Vikings and the medieval Mediterranean, before turning in the last third of the book to the sea's "global age" after 1500. One of Mr. Paine's achievements is to combine in each chapter a sharp eye for the telling detail of seafaring with the larger context of politics, diplomacy and social change in the region concerned. Again and again he reminds us of the central role played by waterborne transport in the earliest civilizations. Archaeological evidence suggests that the invention of sails coincided with the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt circa 3000 B.C., dependent as it was on the ease of transit both up and down the Nile. By 2500 B.C., Egypt was fully engaged in the seaborne trade of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. Archaeology also suggests the importance of riverine and maritime navigation to the first literate civilization at Sumer in modern Iraq. By 2300 B.C. shipping connected Sumer with the Harappan civilization in the Indus Valley. By the ninth century B.C., Phoenicians and Greeks had pioneered the creation of maritime empires in the Mediterranean. By the sixth century B.C., seaborne links between the north and south of what was to become China presaged the eventual emergence of a unified empire in 221 B.C. Indeed, China was to become as much a great waterborne empire (of canals and rivers) as was the British (of oceans and seas). In less skillful hands, the accumulation of detail might become overwhelming. But Mr. Paine studs his account with vivid descriptions, like that of Piraeus, the port of ancient Athens, with "its whiff of sea wrack and odors of goods and ships, the percussion of heavy cargoes, oars and rigging all in movement, and the accompanying chorus of human voices." It is thus no accident that for two-thirds of the book we hear relatively little of the maritime activities of Europeans, the "west-enders" on the backside of Eurasia, who faced a dark, un-crossable ocean. Compared with the sophistication and wealth of Middle or Eastern Eurasia—and the scale of their monarchies—post-Roman Europe was puny and poor. Heroic as they were, the Norsemen's exploration of the North Atlantic yielded little profit or durable settlement. So Europe's "age of discoveries" in the 15th and 16th centuries can only come as a surprise. Historians today are more cautious than we once were in making claims for a great "break-out" from Europe in the 1490s. Far from signaling the coming global triumph of the Europeans, it coincided with the consolidation of the powerful new empires of the Ottomans, the Safavids in Persia, the Mughals in India and (by the mid-17th century) the Qing in China. Yet by the early 18th century at the latest, European seamen dominated the long-distance trades in the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean, had reached China and Japan (where their access was strictly controlled), and even maintained a lonely annual shuttle between the Philippines and Mexico—the famous "Manila galleon." Mr. Paine is rightly wary of assigning any single cause to this astonishing shift in the world's maritime balance. I see its roots in the mixing of two different navigational "skill-sets" from the early 1400s: those of the Mediterranean, with its tideless, almost landlocked, east-west orientation—and knowledge of Arab seamanship—and those of the North Atlantic, with its ocean swells and storms, its huge tides and currents, the varying depths of its continental shelf and the challenge that its north-south orientation posed to use of the compass (because of the magnetic variation from true north). By the time of Columbus, European sailors had devised a suite of techniques—lead and line for depth-sounding, tide tables, an adjustable compass—and a range of ship and sail types that lent them a versatility unmatched by those from other maritime societies. Columbus's flagship, the Santa Maria, which was probably built on the Basque coast, combined the Mediterranean lateen-sail with the square-rigged sail of Northern Europe. With the rise of militarized mercantile states (Portugal, Spain, Britain and the Netherlands, among others), the acquisition of long-range colonies and the recruitment of slave labor, they lengthened their lead over other maritime peoples. The foundation was laid for just over a century of global domination, one abetted by the great leaps of industrialization: a mere speck of time in the period of this book. 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. [Wall Street Journal]. REVIEW: It is no surprise that the sea has been pushed to the margins of our consciousness. An industry that once employed vast numbers on land and shore and which had a visible, raucous presence in the heart of major coastal cities has been banished from congested centers. Look at Felixstowe or Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal in New York Harbor. As Lincoln Paine writes, they “bear the same relationship to traditional ports that suburban malls have to downtown shopping districts”. In 1970 2.6 billon tons were transported across the oceans; today it is more than eight billion, 90 per cent of the globe’s freight. We live in one of the most dynamic and least discussed periods in terms of maritime history. Before the advent of container shipping in the late Fifties, it sometimes took longer for cargo to cross a pier than it did the ocean. Now thousands of containers are loaded on to ships according to complex algorithms and unloaded by an “intricate choreography of ships, trucks and trains” governed by computer. Such a process requires a tiny workforce and the great ships that ply the sea lanes are ghostly affairs, sometimes with a crew numbering a dozen or so. The anonymity of the industry is the corollary of its hyper-efficiency. Bustling port towns have given way to eerily quiet and other-worldly container facilities, the sinister backdrop to television dramas. For centuries the size of a country’s merchant marine and the extent of its docklands were symbols of national prestige. Now the connection is broken: ships and ports are owned by multinational companies. Modern maritime industries have, says Paine, been “both midwife and mirror” of globalization, exerting a powerful influence on our lives. This is true today, and for Paine it is mariners who have “fostered cross-cultural interdependence” throughout human history. But just as the transformative effects of maritime trade have been almost invisible in our time, the majority of us are terrestrial creatures rather than amphibian when it comes to our conception of history. Lincoln Paine offers a corrective to this, in 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 Civilization” 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. Paine does not undervalue the 500 years of Western superiority at sea. But he is wary of setting it up as a template to examine maritime history more generally or allowing it to encroach on the rest of the story. This is Paine’s great strength, for it gives a better perspective on the history British readers are familiar with, from Drake to Nelson. Some of the most illuminating chapters concern the growth of trade in the Indian Ocean and the China Sea prior to the arrival of the Portuguese in the 15th century. Over millennia mariners opened up the longest shipping lanes in the world; sophisticated commercial networks developed in these waters and civilizations rose and fell along the shifting trade routes. Paine charts the diffusion of technology, religions and culture as trade flourished between the lucrative markets of Arabia and China. Take, for example, the remains of a ship sunk off Belitung Island in the Java Sea around 826AD. It was built in the Persian Gulf from African mahogany; its keelson was made from wood imported from Zaire and the beams were Indian teak. Even more extraordinary was its cargo: 60,000 pieces of ceramic ware mass-produced in landlocked regions of China were stored in jars from Vietnam. They were made with acute awareness of the Persian market, with inscriptions from the Koran and geometrical designs. Indeed, the cobalt used for the blue coloring had been imported from Persia. There was no shortage of potters in Persia, but somehow the costs of production and even transportation over thousands of miles of hazardous water were low enough for Chinese merchants to undercut them. Asia was, for Paine, the cradle of globalization. The fortunes of distant empires exerted powerful forces that rippled across the integrated markets and trade routes of Asia. Its fabulous wealth attracted European seafarers and lust for the products of the East lured explorers across the Atlantic, only to discover America instead. The difference between Asia and Europe was that in the West state navies and the merchant marine became intertwined and, as a result, formidable. But that intimate relationship between state and commerce – the hallmark of European domination – was unknown for most of history. It has vanished in the 21st century, making the Asian experience of a thousand years ago startlingly relevant. [The Telegraph (UK)]. REVIEW: For decades, world history suffered from a Eurocentric crisis. In many now-canonical works, such as William McNeill’s Plagues and Peoples (1976), Alfred Crosby’s Ecological Imperialism (1986), and Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel (1997), scholars failed to lend adequate agency to pre-Columbian or non-Western actors in shaping global interactions after 1500. Still others omitted contributions made by civilizations prior to the modern era and how those contributions impacted history beyond the Age of Exploration. Lincoln Paine, author of previous works on shipbuilding, asserts what worsened Eurocentrism was a lack of connective tissue between the ancient, medieval, and modern periods. In The Sea and Civilization: a maritime history of the world, he offers a masterfully ambitious and far-ranging analysis of how bodies of water (from oceans and bays to lakes and inland tributaries) and human activities upon them (shipbuilding, warfare, trade, and travel) influenced the course of world history from ancient times through the present. Rather than employing terrestrial perspectives, Paine’s readers should consider world history via the “blues that shade seventy per cent” of the globe. For millennia prior to locomotives, automobiles, and jet travel, human commerce and culture moved easier and faster by water. Since Edward Said’s Orientalism (1979) initiated a drift from Eurocentrism, other world histories, including Peter Gran’s Beyond Eurocentrism (1996) and Samuel Huntington’s The Clash of Civilizations (1996) emphasized regions and ethnicities of the Middle East, Russia, and Asia. Paine, while not dispensing with land- or nation-based world history entirely, superimposes maritime history onto nearly every region and time period. Whereas maritime history once considered specific coastlines and their relationships with land-based activities, he cites Fernand Braudel’s The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Phillip II (1949) as the first scholarly work to move past national paradigms and treat oceans themselves as coherent units of study. But for Paine, maritime history requires more than regional analyses; in The Sea and Civilization, he suggests treating the world’s oceans, rivers, and lakes as interconnected systems independent from national borders. At the same time, Paine maintains that without the exploration, appropriation, and taming of the world’s water bodies, city-states, nations, and colonial empires would have been unthinkable. "The Sea and Civilization" originates in Oceania, a region defined by history’s longest sustained effort of maritime exploration. Given its geographic breadth (a roughly 10,000-mile stretch of islands from present-day Ecuador to the Philippines), archaeological evidence revealed the use of dugout logboats, sails, and trade networks between seven thousand and thirteen thousand years ago. When European explorers crossed through Oceania starting in the 1500s, they marveled at the habitation of its islands far removed from any continental land mass. More, linguistic and navigational research demonstrated that Oceania’s settlement resulted not from “accidental drift” but “intentional voyaging,” making the era’s seafarers the most advanced in the world. When measured against pre-Columbian Mesoamerican states (Mixtec, Olmec, or Aztec) that did not fully exploit their proximity to the sea, Paine argues Oceanic peoples, though never as numerous or centralized as their American counterparts, ranged farther across the sea than anyone else. Paine then focuses on the seafaring and shipbuilding techniques of ancient Egyptians, Sumerians, and Phoenicians. He finds that ancient Egypt’s commercial successes depended on “harnessing the Nile as a highway of internal communication while the seas were a filter through which its people absorbed foreign goods and influences.” For the pharaohs, watercraft were not simply implements for trade: with more than one hundred different types of vessels identified through archaeological findings, boats also were used for funeral rites, waste disposal, celebrations, and fortifications. Via its technological prowess and geographic reach, Egypt facilitated communication with other powers in the region, including Greece and the Phoenician city-state of Levant; those powers, Paine finds, were the first to fan out beyond the Mediterranean and breach the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Once extended, Greeks and Phoenicians founded a number of port cities that still thrive in the present, including Cadiz, Cartagena, Marseilles, Istanbul, and Carthage (now suburban Tunis), which until the emergence of the Roman Empire in the fourth century BCE, stood as the world’s largest naval power. For five centuries after, Roman supremacy relied upon dominance of the Mediterranean. Ancient India and China, the latter long considered insular and hostile to foreign trade, also were maritime powers. While many Indian traders ventured to sea for their livelihoods, Chinese traders tended to focus inward by mastering their interior network of rivers. Though China did commercially engage India and Rome indirectly and helped establish the states of Vietnam and Cambodia, Chinese authorities were skeptical of foreign ideas and religious practices. In the book’s middle chapters, beginning with the Viking Age and concluding with the voyages of Columbus, da Gama, and Magellan, Paine devotes considerable space to the emergence of seafaring European powers and the spread of their imperial ambitions up to the beginning of the sixteenth century AD. Especially enlightening are Paine’s subsequent chapters that examine the rise of steam technology, the construction of canals and dams, the invention of ironclad warships and modern navies, fisheries and agriculture, the emergence of submersibles, transatlantic competition in freight and passenger service, and the role(s) of waterways during WWI and WWII. Casting a somber glow in the final chapter, Paine opines that when in the 1950s jet travel and postwar car culture rendered ocean liners all but obsolete, ships and shipping lost salience in popular culture. Finally, Paine stresses that perspectives on water travel and trade have radically changed over the past half-century, largely due to forces of globalization. Though ships currently carry ninety per cent of the world’s cargo, automation has in many ways supplanted human tasks while maritime vessel registry (as with many other facets of global commerce) no longer conforms to borders or nations. The most impressive quality of "The Sea and Civilization", in addition to its engaging prose, is its source material: the work leaves few stones unturned as Paine considers secondary literature of world history, philosophy, oceanography, economics, archaeology; shipping trade journals and port authority records; centuries of newspapers, magazines, diaries, and journals written by explorers, scribes, and royal officials; ancient mythology, images of the sea and maritime commerce in art, literature, and poetic verse; manuals on watercraft design; and hundreds of translated works from Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, and Russian sources. Due its top-flight research and inarguable global scope that transcends Eurocentrism, The Sea and Civilization not only suffices as a world history survey text but will also benefit scholars and students specializing in geography, military history, engineering, environmental history, economics, ethnohistory, archaeology, and any academic discipline that engages the intersections between human endeavor and bodies of water. [The College of Mount Scholastica]. REVIEW: The Sea and Civilization is, precisely as the blurb describes it, a monumental work. In just six hundred pages of text, Lincoln Paine covers a remarkable historical span beginning with the first maritime migrations fifty thousand years ago and ending with the United States Navy in the twenty-first century. To describe maritime activity in this period, the author has combed through a huge array of works that are collected together in an impressive bibliography that runs to close to fifty pages. While its scale sets the book apart, this is also a work of the highest possible quality. One straightforward way to critique a general history is simply to hone in on the specialties of the reviewer with the expectation that no such study will get everything right. Not only are Paine’s descriptions invariably accurate but The Sea and Civilization is also jammed with wonderful details--the Song dynasty’s human-powered paddleboats are a favorite example--that continually surprise the reader. It is also a beautifully written, lavishly illustrated, and superbly edited study that succeeds among its many other achievements in solving the great riddle of the general history, whether or not to include notes, with a masterful compromise (endnotes numbered according to the pages of the text) that satisfies the academic reader without cluttering the narrative. In his introduction, Paine declares his hope that The Sea and Civilization will inspire further work. Quoting the great naval historian Nicholas Rodger, he writes that even it “should fail altogether, [such a study] may still have the merit of stimulating other and better scholars” (p. 10). This is far too modest; Paine has produced what will become a standard work that will appeal to scholars, students, and general readers for years to come. The Sea and Civilization is precisely as Felipe Fernández-Armesto, and a more qualified judge one cannot imagine, attests on the back cover “the best maritime history of the world” currently available. No book that aims to cover so much in so few pages can possibly satisfy all readers and any approach to such a vast task comes with particular advantages and drawbacks. This is the case with The Sea and Civilization, which is compelled to make some trade-offs for its scope. Paine has set himself the goal of, according to the blurb, writing a “world history through the lens of maritime enterprise.” The book thus aims to be comprehensive and whenever he can the author opts to add in more information, another part of the world, another naval battle, another trade route. This comes at a cost for individual chapters, which are stuffed with information. This seems less of an issue for the earlier chapters, which usually examine a single region across a number of centuries, but it means that later chapters, which narrow the focus to a single century while expanding the geographical parameters to encompass most of the world, have a great deal of work do. Chapter 15 (“The Birth of Global Trade”) is an example of the latter. Commencing with an overview of the Spanish and Portuguese empires, it then jumps to a two-page account of the Japanese invasion of Korea in 1592 before taking us into the Mediterranean and then skipping across to Russian waters. After a short description of flat-bottomed riverboats, the chapter turns to the first attempts to create state navies in Europe before concluding with a discussion of the Spanish Armada. The result of this encyclopedic approach is that while all are engaging, some of the chapters feel, in the absence of a central theme or thread, somewhat disjointed. The attempt to take in as much maritime activity in as much of the world as possible also means that individual topics seldom receive as much attention as they would, for example, in a more thematic analysis. Such is the case with that perennial companion of the maritime merchant, the pirate. Given the scale of the work and the fact that Paine gives considerable coverage to the rise and fall of states, pirates are not neglected, receiving by my rough count at least fifty references, but these are widely scattered and do not cohere together into any sort of systematic discussion. This treatment, while perhaps inevitable in an account of this kind, means that the seas sometimes appear more as open expanses plied by ever-increasing numbers of merchant and naval vessels than as complex legal and political spaces. As has become clear in a slew of recent studies, pirates existed in the spaces in between. This applied first to the ethnic makeup of pirate bands, which were often strikingly diverse. To cite one example, the huge wokou or wakō pirate fleets of sixteenth-century East Asia, one of many such groups to receive just a handful of sentences, were controlled by Chinese maritime entrepreneurs but they drew in a wide range of recruits from Japan and other parts of Asia. Far from the lawless actors they are sometimes imagined as, pirates operated, as Lauren Benton has so clearly shown, in the spaces created by overlapping legal orders, freely adopting and discarding legal identities depending on the exigencies of the moment. The same could be said of their victims who pulled on the tangled jurisdictional threads that characterized the oceans in order to gain compensation for attacks. Thus it was not unusual for seventeenth-century Chinese mariners assaulted by the Dutch in Southeast Asia to take their claims to Japanese officials in Nagasaki for restitution. Because they operated on the edges of territorial politics, pirate chieftains also created unconventional maritime polities that raise questions about the “symbiotic relationship between commercial and naval power” that is conventionally ascribed, as in Paine’s account, only to Europeans (p. 5). This was the case with Zheng Zhilong, a pirate turned official, and especially his son Chenggong or Coxinga, who established what Xing Hang calls a “quasi-governmental commercial enterprise” that was able to challenge the formidable Dutch East India Company and ultimately to eject it from its prized colony on Taiwan. None of this is to say that Paine should necessarily have devoted more attention to pirates but rather that the accumulation of detail sometimes overshadows some of the things that draw historians, and I suspect general readers, to the field of maritime history. It also means that some important continuities capable of tying different centuries together are missed and the otherwise excellent final chapter would have been further strengthened by a more detailed reference to the return of the familiar phenomenon of wide-scale piracy in the waters off Somalia. The desire to be comprehensive also means that the reader gets little sense of the contours of the current debates in what is in fact a rapidly evolving and particularly exciting corner of scholarship. At times, glimpses of this come through as in the description of Zheng He’s massive maritime expeditions, which are the subject of a fierce debate concerning their coercive nature, but the reader is seldom provided with a clear sense of the arguments raised by the two sides or the stakes involved. Much of what we once thought we knew about the field is now in flux and one need think only of Geoff Wade’s articles on Zheng He or Tonio Andrade’s recent analysis of the conflict between the Dutch and Coxinga over control of Taiwan, which presents a masterful intervention into the old debate over comparative military advantage on land and sea, or Sebastian Prange’s brilliant 2011 article on politics in the premodern Indian Ocean as examples of scholarship that merit mention, however brief, in a text such as this. Such minor points pale, however, in comparison to the great achievement of this book. The Sea and Civilization belongs in every maritime history undergraduate course as well as in the bookshelf of any teacher who seeks to push their students beyond the shores and into the bustling and turbulent maritime world that Paine describes so beautifully. [Monash University]. REVIEW: This book could easily be titled, “The Greatest Sea Story Ever Told.” The subtitle proffers the scope of the work, which Lincoln Paine delivers in grand style. With 599 pages of text, 48 pages of bibliography, 17 maps, 26 pages of color images, and 46 illustrations, it was a prodigious undertaking. "The Sea and Civilization" is a worldview rarely seen today. It ventures far to acquaint us with the influence of the seas and rivers and relates where man has been and how he arrived to where he is now. This noteworthy volume is written in a prose style as engaging as the stories included in the volume. Paine tells of the people throughout history who have explored, pioneered, traded, fought, and died; built and lost ships; opened markets; conquered adversity; established and spread religion; made and lost money; and used the waters comprising seventy percent of our planet to further human civilization. This monumental product of intense research is presented in a manner easily readable by scholar and layman alike. The book contains detailed descriptions of the vessels employed and the means of navigation utilized throughout. The author begins with the astounding distances and means employed by the inhabitants of the Pacific, the dispersion of people to the Americas, and the founding and expansion of contact, communication, and trade by sea and river. As trade developed along the Nile, Pharaonic Egypt stretched its influence along the Eastern Mediterranean. As this influence declined other peoples filled the gap in succession. The Phoenicians were followed by the Greeks, Carthaginians, and Romans. In the East, the Indian Ocean trade centered on seaborne communications and trade to Southeast Asia, China, and Japan. As maritime traffic grew, nations recognized the need for protection of their interests. Navies and maritime laws became established. Today, few of us dream of going to sea. A trip to cities that were once ports of call for ships resembles little of those by-gone days. With its shipping and the variety of seamen from around the world, as described by author Herman Melville, the port of Nantucket of his day, as well as other previously well-known ports of call for ships indeed have vanished. If there is any criticism of this work, it would be the anchoring of maps at the front of the volume. This makes the reader to mark their place when referring to the map. That being said, it is a small inconvenience for such an overall rewarding experience. [NavalHistory.org]. REVIEW: Even though the Earth's surface is 70% water, historical narratives are usually land-centered. Paine (“Ships of the World”) shifts emphasis from land to water in order to correct this imbalance, an approach that takes the reader through history via the seas. He devises a chronological spiral around the world, starting with a recounting of ancient times, before covering the same areas in medieval times, and so on up to the modern era. Paine's highly detailed work encompasses a wide array of topics, from trade and the influence of the sea on warfare and political coalitions, to ship building techniques through the ages, to piracy and slavery. Of particular interest are the intricate alliances and shifting loyalties of ancient Mediterranean cultures, the outsized role of the relatively tiny Spice Islands, the impact the Vikings had on cultural exchange across coastal Europe, and the influence of religion on areas as diverse as trade and maritime law. Readers expecting a naval history will receive much more: a thorough history of the people, the ports, and the cultural activity taking place on the water. Paine has compiled an invaluable resource for salty dogs and land-lubbers alike. Photos, illustrations and maps. [Publisher’s Weekly]. REVIEW: Sensing that the maritime world is not as prominent in popular consciousness as formerly, Paine presents this ambitiously capacious maritime history of the globe. Visually, it spans from vessels recorded in primitive pictographs to modern photographs, and verbally it addresses every regional arena of mercantile and naval activity as it elevates awareness of seas and rivers as conduits between states and peoples throughout human history. Global in embrace Paine may be, but particular geographical areas, such as the Mediterranean Sea and the seas surrounding Asia, receive his primary attention. Discussing the posture of ancient civilizations such as Egypt and China toward the sea, Paine covers the waxing and waning of empires as evidenced in exchanges of goods and the ships that transported them. The emergence of Europe in global navigation, which Paine prefaces with Viking explorations and medieval commerce in the Baltic and Mediterranean Seas, was a phenomenon that he connects to preexisting Asian trading networks that drew Portugal, then other European nations, into building maritime empires. So comprehensive and knowledgeable a history as Paine’s offers a sturdy keel for any maritime history collection. [Booklist]. REVIEW: In the Western imagination, seafaring began to influence the course of world history with the European discovery of the New World. During the “classic age of sail,” spanning the fifteenth through the eighteenth centuries, the Western powers undertook their great voyages of discovery, linking distant regions and establishing European global supremacy. In this fascinating and beautifully written scholarly work, Paine steps back from this Eurocentric view to tell the story of maritime travel through the entire sweep of human history. For thousands of years, people have been launching themselves onto water to fish, trade, fight, and explore -- and doing so in ways that have profoundly shaped human institutions and the rise and decline of civilizations. The narrative is more encyclopedic than thematic; Paine does not advance any explicit claims about the relationship between maritime power and world affairs. Nonetheless, with its richness of detail, the book does offer an eloquent vision of how the sea served as a path to the modern world. [ForeignAffairs.Com]. REVIEW: 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. [New Statesman]. REVIEW: 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. [The Times]. REVIEW: The most enjoyable, the most refreshing, the most stimulating, the most comprehensive, the most discerning, the most insightful, the most up-to-date—in short, the best maritime history of the world. [Felipe Fernández-Armesto, author of "Millennium: A History of the Last Thousand Years"]. REVIEW: Paine deftly navigates the complexities of global culture to create an eminently readable account of mankind's relationship to the sea. Both profound and amusing, this will be a standard source for decades to come. [Josh Smith, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, editor of "Voyages"]. REVIEW: “The Sea and Civilization" presents a fresh look at the global past. Bringing to bear a formidable knowledge of ships and sails, winds and currents, navigation techniques and maritime law, Lincoln Paine offers a lively tour of world history as seen from the waterline. The result is a fascinating account, full of little-known episodes and novel insights. A major contribution. [Kären Wigen, Stanford University, author of "A Malleable Map"]. REVIEW: "I want to change the way you see the world". This brave ambition is brilliantly realized by Lincoln Paine in this single volume. Thoroughly researched, clearly argued, eminently accessible—we have at last a responsible and persuasive explanation of the inextricable connection between the ocean and world civilization. [World Ocean Observatory]. REVIEW: "The Sea and Civilization" meticulously and systematically reconstructs the maritime history of the world from diverse historic records, archaeology, contemporary travelogues, languages, literature, religious texts and folklore. . . In this book we get to see some of the beautiful and interesting plates without traversing the museums and libraries of the world. . . That oceans teach us, above all, about the unity of human existence on this planet seems to be the take away from The Sea and Civilization. [The Hindu (India)]. READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: Mr. Paine tells history from ancient to modern through a maritime lens. From the early contact between people through waterways, initially rivers and later seas and oceans, he described an evolution sharply different from the paradigm found in traditional histories. Mr. Paine has softened the edges of historical change. I am reminded of David Edmunds' writings on the "frontiers" between American settlers and Native Americans. I learned from Edmunds that these "frontiers" were often 200-300-mile fluid borders within which considerable commerce, intermingling, and even intermarriage occurred. Mr. Paine, with his maritime focus, illustrated how similar interaction occurred from early days to the rise and decline of empires. Paine brought to this 'revisionist' history extraordinary scholarship, with 59 pages of detailed footnotes and a 55-page bibliography. Even in areas where I consider myself reasonably knowledgeable, I was amazed by the breadth of his source materials. For Paine, maritime history encompassed far more than shipbuilding, maritime trade, oceanic exploration, human migration, and naval history. It also included the disciplines of the arts, religion, language, the law, and political economy. In what is his maritime magnus opus, Mr. Paine boldly stated his intentions: "I want to change the way in which you see the world map by focusing your attention on the blues that shade 70% of the image before you, and letting the earth shades fade. This shift in emphasis from land to water makes many trends and patterns of world history stand out in ways they simply cannot otherwise." I believe that he has succeeded brilliantly. His little-known, nitty-gritty details are essential ingredients in this delectable historical bouillabaisse. His results I find as powerful and persuasive as Daniel Boorstin's "The Discoverers". Piecing together fragmentary maritime evidence, Paine traced trade patterns in the Indian Ocean four thousand years ago that later evolved into vigorous trade across the Arabian Peninsula to the Bay of Bengal. His subsequent accounts underscored the validity of his belief that "the concentration on Europe's past five centuries has distorted our interpretation of the maritime record of other periods and places and our appreciation of its relevance to human progress." It is impossible to highlight the many stunning insights that Paine included in his maritime history. I note below portions of his commentary that especially impacted my landlubber's approach to history: * 3,000 years ago Pacific navigators were the most advanced in the world; * The history of Egypt and Mesopotamia was told with a maritime perspective; * Rome's Mare Nostrum only came with a highly developed navy; * There was massive maritime interaction within Asia and with Africa and elsewhere for over 1,000 years; * China, over hundreds of years, expanded from canals and rivers to extensive sea activities that included invasions, complex trade, and diverse political alignments; * After the collapse of the Western Roman Empire and the rise of the Byzantine Empire, there was an ongoing donnybrook in the Mediterranean in which the Venetians played a major role, with Arab fleets muddying the waters; * Paine persuasively challenged my previous view of the Vikings. He contended that "the Vikings' infamy is often overstated, for they were no more violent than their contemporaries. In their favor, they helped integrate the extremes of western and eastern Europe and to draw Scandinavia into the mainstream of European political development."; * The 'Silk Road' was more important by sea than by land; * After Columbus, da Gama, and Magellan, Paine described how shipbuilding, navigation enhancements, and weaponry triggered the West's global expansion; '* His documentation of how little England, a minor sea power in the 16th century, became the ruler of the sea two centuries later chronicled one of the most extraordinary balance-of-power shifts in modern Western history; and; * Paine provided a concise summary of naval and maritime developments over the past 150 years. Paine concluded with a description of the revolutionary impact of the development of container ships in the 1950s, which reduced the cost of loading a ship from $5.83/ton to 16 cents/ton (the impact of which was far greater than the savings provided by the Eire Canal). Paine lamented that recent maritime history tends to be overlooked. In fishing and navies, there have been remarkable developments. Perhaps more important, between 1970 and 2010 the volume of sea trade has trebled (from 2.6-to-over-8-billion tons), thanks to ever larger container ships under flags of convenience. Ships now carry about 90% of the world's trade! "The Sea and Civilization" challenges much of 'traditional history.' For those historians who feel discomfort, I urge that they at least read the sections on areas in which they claim proficiency. When they cannot dispute Paine's superb scholarship, perhaps they will become Paine advocates. Paine's exquisite scholarship makes his book a difficult read. I applaud him for his carefully researched magnus opus. He could reach a broader audience with an abridged edition of perhaps 200 pages in which he highlights the underlying thesis of how maritime history is essential to a fuller grasp of world history. REVIEW: Lincoln Paine has taken a view of history that is nearly never taken, even by books on seafaring peoples or oceanic trade. He is as little bound by theory as a clipper ship is by village gossip. He is an easy writer of a clear style; let his words fill the sails of your mind. Enjoy the passage, and think about what he shows. At six hundred pages, the breeze is decidedly fresh but not gale. He has the right amount of detail for the sweep of his subject. How can one be impatient with the tide or hurry the ocean? He is never covered in preachy seaweed. Paine is clearly the maritime Braudel, as historians go. He watches patiently and carefully, never fooled or distracted by bloated personality or windy ideology. And rivers get their due, thank you. And maps -- can't think without maps. How careful he is comes through when he remarks that nothing much was going on between the Columbia River in the Pacific NW, and southern California. Yet he does notice those little settlements on the eight channel islands standing off Santa Barbara about thirteen thousand years ago, just right for the migrations across the Bering Straight. Any serious attempt at work like this has the sorry obstacle presented by the mathematics, the science and the technology. Paine has a way of talking around our forgetfulness of high school studies. The sailors and shipwrights who lived these problems were driven to find answers. Huge prizes were offered, albeit disingenuously. But the problems were solved, millennia by century. Sea and river are faster than any life on land. A horse may thunder down a stony road for a mile or two. But water carries ideas of great weight a long way. And news travels briskly... drums along the river. How fast the concerns of the lubbering fade a day out of home port. The yappy dogs of nosey neighbors are nowhere to be heard where gulls cry. But a new port is brimming and easy. Money in and out on every tide. The first great people of the river and sea were the Egyptians of five millennia past. A nice touch of perspective Paine brings when he exhumes for us the boat at Khufu's whacky shaped tomb. He points out that the local Greeks, who called Khufu "Cheops", are as far from us in the past as they were from old Khufu. Paine makes an interesting claim. He thinks that, over the long run, some political stability came from river and sea trade. Sure, something loud and bloody was forever breaking out round the bend. But the local swings in weather, power and economy were more smoothed and resilient along the water. It is bad practice to rely much on archaeology to make inferences about history. But he does place the current evidence for the oldest existing boats and rafts in the same region as the oldest discovered wheels and the oldest known literature - Sumeria of the sixth millennia. Some of their rafts were portable, inflatable - reusable. In the magic, watery home of the Marsh Arabs, recently brutalized, now nearly gone, reed rafts could hold three horses or 6,000 pounds without strain. In the big picture, big ships were never much important except in sinking. As boats grew into ships, many became weapons to do some of that sinking, but nothing in comparison to what the waters did. In the Greco-Persian wars, an angry sea smashed three hundred Persian ships with twenty thousand sailors and marines. Finally, by the Great War, Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty, was able to say of Admiral Jellicoe, that he was the only man capable of losing the war in an afternoon. The sea enabled squabbling Romans to become Imperial Mafiosi, and coin their Mediterranean, Mare Nostrom, Latin for "our ting" (sic). Paine makes nothing of other hiatorians' assertions that they were fraidy cats of the sea. Maybe that explains why recent excavations of Roman ships sunk with cannabis amidst their ballast stones. Instead, Paine gives us a rather different telling of the story of Rome and Egypt, no snake in sight. It was more the story of grain than love between the mighty. Paine moves back to Asia and to the Muslims before returning to Europe for those perennial pop-stars, the Vikings Even the balmy beginnings of the Medieval Warming period failed to thaw their perma-frost personality. The Atlantic was theirs. For my piece, the Vikings can keep the North Atlantic. I am with the Muslim mariners, skiffing along warm and well-fed coasts. Except for those pesky Italians buzzing about Lepanto, life was good. Baghdad, arguably the biggest port in the world (possibly excepting China's) was awash in silk and spice. Taken as a whole, China's Tang period was broadly more magnificent, but also presented a broad target. Thinly spread, they attracted all manner of miscreant nibbling at every landed border. They withdrew east, attended by their long coast. Even the Buddhists were making the Confusions nervous what with all that guff about the rulers being no more important than their subjects. Through the turmoil, the number of ships calling on China's ports grew and order of magnitude. While roads were strangled, open water met river and canal without. Today, needing few ships of her own, Chinese cargo rules the seas. The gentle luffing of Asian canvass was drowned-out, as it were, by European cannon, and lost in the smoke of their history writers. Not that the many navies racing about did not make, as Gilbert and Sullivan have so nicely shown, good comic opera. The Armada is just one big example. Some Spanish control freak had the brilliant idea of locking up the crews in the Armada's ships, whilst in harbour, for three stinking months. They were so sick by the time to sail out of harbour, that they were beaten long before they were blown about by the channel winds and storms. But there were none so sick as the slaves of that cursed trade. Everybody else loved this game: Muslim, Christian and predator tribes alike. Later, the general unwanted and unwashed could be disposed of by slamming them below, in ships' holds for prison colonies in Australia or Georgia. All sorts of colonies were available for the hemmed-in. Where did the steam engine come from, a tea pot? No. And not that silly sphere in my childhood encyclopedia sporting two spouts at each diametrical touch. Paine never says, but that is just his way. He describes all that flowed from them in the maritime. The pace of the world picked up again because again the speed of sea travel did. Once the blood-thirsty Americans of the Civil War added armour to steam, the British model was crushed, to their great relief because they had no wood left anyway. Now it was coal and iron and Bismarck added blood. The rest is familiar enough; and Paine takes no more pages than necessary to discuss the important points of our era. Well done in every way. REVIEW: "All history is maritime history." In the world of academics and the study of history or any other aspect of our humanity, that is a radical statement. In virtually every field of study, maritime and nautical matters are given something of the short shift, if not ignored. A look at any world map makes that seem a curious fact. About 70% of that world map is blue. To quote the author’s introduction, “I want to change the way you see the world map, by focusing your attention on the blues that shade 70 percent of the image before you, and letting the earth tones fade.” In our global economy over 90% of commerce moves over water sometime in its travels from raw materials to final disposition. Commerce over the seas is not new, or a sudden change, or a development of the last millennia; evidence of trade between ancient Mesopotamia and the civilization of the Indus River valley exists from 4,000 years ago. It isn’t by accident that the first civilizations arose alongside navigable rivers. It isn’t just commerce and trade, warships and explorers, disease and calamity that traveled (travel?) those seas and rivers. Art, religion, language, and concepts of law, even human populations themselves, all moved across the globe on water, born by watercraft big and small. Our world would look very different (and vast areas would still be unpopulated) if human beings had remained bound to only the land masses. Lincoln Paine’s previous books hint at the direction his thinking was going, and include a maritime history of Maine, a history of warships before 1900, a history of the ships used in exploration and discovery, and, best known, “Ships of the World: A Historical Encyclopedia”. Paine has had predecessors who have examined various regions or periods or both from a decidedly maritime viewpoint, but all of the most acclaimed studies of world history or civilization in recent years have ignored, or barely mentioned, the enormous influence of the maritime world on humanity. It is small exaggeration to say that “The Sea & Civilization” represents the first comprehensive attempt at telling the story of humanity from a maritime perspective, from the viewpoint of travel, trade, and communications over seas and oceans, along rivers and lakes. The coverage, both as to geography and time periods, is comprehensive; the whole world, and the whole of history, is covered. Things move fast. The period from the beginning of human migration, to peopling of the Americas and Oceania, the rise of Egypt and Mesopotamia, Bronze Age seafaring, and trade from East Asia to the Western Mediterranean covers only some two hundred pages. By the time another two hundred pages have past Magellan is on his way on the first recorded circumnavigation. The end of six hundred pages of text brings us to the present day, with a better understanding of how we got to where we are. The stuff at the end, the sort of thing most folks never bother with, Notes, Bibliography, and Index, are actually better than most you see, especially nowadays. The notes are in a form that allows you to determine what the author was taking from the source, and how it influenced how he presented it in this volume (you can’t believe how rare that kind of detail is in author’s notes). Criticisms of the book seem to come, so far, from those who have a particular personal interest that is, of necessity in a single volume of this scope, not given the length of coverage that the critic wants to demand. I’m sorry, but the Age of Nelson is not the linchpin of history, and World War II, as important as it is in our immediate memory, is seven years out of the last six thousand years of civilization, so you only get eight pages. Far more important to me is that the author has avoided the pathologies that plague modern academic writing and research. The author claims that, “. . . while ships are integral to the narrative that unfolds here, this book is less about ships per se than about the things that they carried-people and their culture, their material creations, their crops and flocks, their conflicts and prejudices, their expectations for the future, and their memories of the past.” All those things seem inseparable from the boats and ships. In the chapter The Silk Road of the Seas, Paine discusses a ship and its cargo that illustrates for me the intellectual cost of ignoring our maritime past. The archeological find was off Belitung Island in the Java Sea. Believed sunk in the year 826, the ship was built in the Persian/Arabian Gulf region of wood from India and Africa, with the keel imported from the region of Zaire, far inland. The hull is stitched or lashed together with palm fiber cordage. The cargo is no less amazing. Ballast is lead ingots, but sixty thousand pieces of Chinese ceramics, many still intact, make up the cargo. Dates on the ceramics are 826, and coins are all older. The ceramics are packed in jars from Vietnam, and spices onboard are native to China or Southeast Asia. The ceramics are from Hunan province, which is inland. The colors and motifs on the ceramics indicate they were destined for the Abbasid Caliphate (Arabian Peninsula, Tigris and Euphrates valleys). World trade is not a modern invention. It will be some time before we know if “The Sea & Civilization” changes the way historians or the public looks at our nautical world. I hope it changes yours. REVIEW: I like to collect books on how commodities such as salt, cinnamon, cochineal, and indigo were developed in transported from one location to another. However we need to keep in mind that these products even though might have inspired maritime travel it is secondary to those of the people that actually did the traveling. Lincoln Paine in "The Sea and Civilization" shows how waterways contributed to spreading many of the great cultures of mankind. One of the main parts of the book are the maps. I have a fair knowledge of where things are in the world of today and the world of antiquity. But without a clear picture the names of places are just that the names of places. So pay close attention to the maps in the book will be even more interesting. The whole book is interesting but if I had to pick a favorite spot it would be the chapter on "The British Global Trade" once again I find it interesting looking at the maps. There is an extensive bibliography and enough notes to know that Lincoln Paine knows his maritime history. We can also use the bibliography for further reading. Still this book is so compact with information that you will have to probably reread it to remember the small pieces of information that can easily be overlooked. REVIEW: Most world histories are centered on the movements of armies, the building of cities, the taming of the land. The sea is at best an incidental part of all that. A few noteworthy events may stick in the reader's mind--the battles of Midway, Trafalgar and the loss of the Spanish Armada--but most of the course of history is land-based. Lincoln Paine changes the vantage point. Traffic on seas, lakes and rivers has equally as much to do with the spread of human civilization. This densely-packed volume begins roughly in the Old Kingdom of Egypt and brings us all the way to the present day. I was about a hundred pages in when it dawned on me that this is really a textbook--whatever the author's intentions might be. It's a compendium of dates, kings and ship architectures. It wants to be read with a notepad on the side and a highlighter in hand; discussions to follow. So let's consider this as a textbook. As such it's excellent. I can't imagine any serious naval officer not spending a semester with it. The material is fascinating, but a little too dense for a quick chapter before bedtime. It's an important topic nonetheless. REVIEW: This is a huge, ambitious book with a sweeping point of view. If you believe that maritime trade had a lot to do with making human civilizations more prosperous, indeed, that it was the main reason why the standard of living has risen so dramatically over time, you will find evidence in this book. If you don’t believe that yet, this book might change your mind. Very early on, humans discovered that they could improve their lot by trading with other humans who lived in different locations, and therefore had access to different products. Exactly when this happened is disputed, but remains of trade goods certainly date from before the Neolithic Revolution introduced farming as the main means of feeding humanity, rather than hunting and gathering. Transporting things to be traded was probably first done in a backpack. Later, pack animals were used, and when the wheel was invented, animals could be used to pull carts with the trade products on or in them. However, moving trade items by land had drawbacks. Every minute the pack was on the back of a human or pack animal, the creature had to expend energy to hold it up – above and beyond the energy it had to expend to hold itself up. Once it started walking, the creature also had to deal with terrain. Going uphill is harder than on the level, and then there are bodies of water barring the path. Owners of the land can help by preparing commonly used routes ahead of time, smoothing out the ground, building bridges over smaller streams, and providing ferries over larger ones. While this would help commerce, it doesn’t come for free – the landowner would generally have to charge a toll or take a fee out of the profits to allow traders to use these prepared routes, now known as roads. Even worse, in spite of what scientists have to say about energy, the energy expended going uphill does not all return when going back downhill. Going downhill it is easy to fall, and you fall further because gravity is “helping” compared to a stumble when going uphill. In a wheeled vehicle, energy needs to be expended to prevent the vehicle from gaining too much speed and becoming uncontrollable. Accordingly, land transport requires ample labor to carry relatively small cargoes. The ocean has no terrain, nor is it helpful to prepare the route in advance. Historically, no one “owns” it and can have a right to levy tolls on it (although many have tried). Furthermore, once you’ve erected a more or less watertight hull, or provided enough buoyancy in objects like logs or reeds to stay afloat even if it leaks, buoyancy, the “magic” force holding up the vessel and everything in it, is free and requires no expenditure of energy. Ships can be built very large, larger than any other mobile structures, without losing their ability to carry cargo. Even better, so long as low speeds can be accepted, a vessel on water requires very little force to move it. Accordingly, ships can transport much larger, heavier cargoes than carts or pack animals, and with a comparatively trifling effort on the part of their crews. Even one person rowing can transport more weight than in a backpack! This is the physics of maritime trade and why it has always been, and continues to be, less expensive to move goods by sea than any other way. Of course the sea has waves, and the weather that creates them can be more of a problem than on land, but that’s another story. Mr. Paine, the author, has taken the broadest possible view of his subject. He has not confined himself to any time period, nor any civilization in particular. With such an enormous subject he has chosen, wisely I think, to approach it in the simplest way possible: chronologically from the beginning to the present. While this does call for jumping around to tell the story of each civilization in time periods (most of the time) when more than one civilization was making progress at sea, it is a familiar feature in literature, and in most places is not confusing. The author does not confine himself to what has often been considered the main line of nautical history, starting with the Mediterranean civilizations and moving into Northern and Western Europe, following the spread of Atlantic seafaring to include the rest of the world. Indeed, he spends quite a bit of ink on the fact that this is an ethnocentric view that shortchanges many civilizations that have also achieved a great deal in the annals of seafaring. To his credit, however, that discussion is relegated to the introduction and the reader may draw his own conclusions from the text. He does not harp on the achievements of any particular culture or civilization, not even to stake out a “contrarian” position compared to the Eurocentric view; he lets the facts speak for themselves. I think that is the correct line to take, and another great strength of the book. I expect this book is going to be a classic that no history enthusiast should be without, and probably the definitive general, world maritime history for years to come. REVIEW: Man had to take to the water. He is a mobile being that has always moved from place to place seeking food, new land, fleeing aggressors or oppression, looking to trade, or simply curious about what lay over the horizon. From logs, bark, and animal hide, early man noticed that things float. With great detail Lincoln Paine describes the development of ocean and river travel. From the raft of primitive man as he escapes the shackles of land, down to nuclear-powered ships, the reader follows the quest of opening up new horizons of trade and the cultures they nourished. This extraordinary comprehensive narrative, packed into a little over 700 pages, did appear overwhelming, but once started I became absorbed in the story of mankind's need and desire to travel across water. The more I read the more I wanted to know and found it hard to put down. This volume will find a place on the shelf with my other history books and will more than likely be used as reference as I continue my lifetime study of history. I recommend "The Sea and Civilization" to everyone interested in history because so much of civilization has depended on the sea and travel by water. I give it 5 stars. REVIEW: This is certainly an ambitious book. In it you'll find a complete history of civilization, global in scope, told from the viewpoint of travel upon the water. As Paine puts it in his introduction, "I want to change the way you see the world map by focusing your attention on the blues that shade 70 percent of the image before you, and letting the earth tones fade." And the history that's told through this watery lens coincides remarkably with a "regular" world history. The same empires and nations are there, the same commerce and conflicts, the same great developments in human existence on our planet, but all told in terms of waterways and seafaring. Any single-volume book that seeks to tell as much history as this one does is -- inevitably -- not going to be an easy read. In a more narrowly focused history (a history of the American Civil War, for example), the author has the luxury of taking time out from a straight chronology of "this happened and then this happened and then this happened..." to look into the biographies of some notable people and to tell some human-scale stories. These rest stops give the reader a break from the relentless chronology, and also help to put some memorable human faces on the otherwise dry march of events. But this book doesn't have that luxury, and therefore I'm afraid many readers will find it heavy-going. It is indeed very largely a book of "this happened and then this happened..." One small exception comes when Paine takes time out to discuss some aspect of ship-building technology or navigation science. As a technology-oriented reader, I found these to be both interesting and a welcome respite from the history-as-history Thus, especially in the earlier chapters of the book, one is confronted with a rapid-fire litany of empires, dynasties, nations, city-states, wars, alliances, migrations, trade relationships, more wars, and what-all else, much of it only vaguely familiar even to readers with a fair knowledge of history. As I read this book, I had the unfortunate feeling that most of what I read was just going in one eyeball and out the other, so to speak. But none of this is really a criticism of the writing of this book; Paine does as good a job as anyone could ask of relating this vast and often fascinating narrative in good order, with his attention always on the important role that ships and seafaring played in so many aspects of civilization. I recommend this book to any history buff; I think it truly will change the way you view a map of the world. REVIEW: Magisterial is not a word I often use to describe a book, but "The Sea and Civilization" richly merits the adjective. Beginning with speculations of the earliest sea voyages, progressing through the earliest written records through the present day, humankind's traversal of the waters was revolutionary as early cultures interacted, traded, colonized and conquered. Author Lincoln Paine is not only as master of maritime research, but a writer of the first order. Though loaded with detail, this history never slows, never gets boring. (I intend to read it a second time simply because there is so much detail.) One aspect that comes through is the bravery of the seafarers through the 19th Century. Death and disabling injuries were extremely common in ships through the beginnings of the modern era. Paine laments of the loss of the port city where sailors, traders, stevedores and common citizens interacted. Today's factory like container ports employ few, the sailors from once exotic locales may not even leave their ships for the few hours they are in port. Paine points out the past, present and future importance of navies and open trade routes Overall, even if you have no specific interest in maritime history, but do enjoy the study of history in general, this is a book that belongs on your shelf. REVIEW: I found the book captivating, if a little tedious, but worth the read and as a book to have on a shelf for reference. But my knowledge of history, from ancient to modern, is encyclopedic, an advantage that few readers will have. When I finished the text I read the bibliography twice, to see if there were any works listed that I should add to my library. To my amazement there were almost a score. That's how much new or seldom referenced material there was in this book, and for that the author is to be congratulated. The author starts out by stating that he wants to change the way we see the world -- a very ambitious goal. He doesn't entirely succeed because politics and national leaders have been primarily focused on terrestrial gains and control, and only seldom has history been about control of the seas. In addition, trade (business) rather than governmental actions have been the driving force behind the development of sea power, and governments have followed rather than led in this arena. Nor are "Great Men" frequently on the stage in maritime history, whereas they are on land. Progressives will not know what to make of this work, as merchants and traders bring about cataclysmic events that force leaders of countries to act to protect their economies, their positions, and their power. Maritime history is a very "people oriented" history, a stage on which the actors are more often unknown than known. Who were the leaders of the Sea People, the Vikings, the Spanish fleets, the Royal Navy, and even the Union Navy in the Civil War, not to mention the events and people discussed by the author in the Far and Near East? There are many passages where I said "that is really seminal", but perhaps too many for the popular or casual academic reader. Frequently the author gets into the weeds, details that probably do not advance his narrative, but weeds that are by themselves interesting. Does the reader need to know about Rhodian Sea Law, or that the Byzantine navy in the early middle ages developed the "dromon", a single-banked oar-powered ship that replaced the larger war vessels of antiquity? In all, this work deserves to be closely read -- a project far beyond most readers. Much of the material will be new to the reader, not the least because the time frame covers three thousand years, and all the major continents, oceans and seas. Nonetheless, I wish the author well, and thank him for his effort. We are all the better for it -- particularly those who will stay the course and read this very serious work. Highly recommended. REVIEW: This is a good book. It is well written, a compelling read. The review of the history of the sea is a review of men who go down to the sea in ships. The battles, and the explorers, are here. In some ways, this book re-creates some of Daniel Boorstin's book, the explorers, and in some ways it touches on the course of human history. The author uses the design of boats, and the ways of navigation, as an entry point for talking about peoples and water. At some points, the focus seems to be on small boating -- canoes, reed mats... and even when we move to Egypt and boats on the Nile, the scope is more boating than it is oceans and power. I did like the way the ocean currents explain strategies of exploration, and the archaeology of the expansion of peoples. The book opens up into discussions of trade routes, and the projection of might and empire through control of oceans. One thing I love about this book: the author is aware of, and often shows, every single rock carving, pot, or wall image of an ancient ship ever known to man. He is an encyclopedia of the archaeology of ships. He is learned, and an omnivore. REVIEW: The thesis of this work is set out on pages 8 and 10 "We can see that much of human history has been shaped by people's access or lack of it, to navigable water." "This book is...about the things that they carried- people and their culture, their material creations, their crops and flocks, their conflicts and prejudices, their expectations of the future, and their memories of the past." This work begs to be compared with Brian Fagan's "Beyond the Blue Horizon: How the Earliest Mariners Unlocked the Secrets of the Oceans; a more lyrical work that is a pleasure to read as if one is coasting with the trade winds. Paine's book is far more comprehensive. It deals not only with the sea, as its title would indicate, but also with riverine and lake navigation; spending time on the development of kayaks and canoes. The author is willing to consider and discuss alternate theories for many developments, and there several excellent chapters such as the sections on the navigation of the Indian Ocean and East Asia. The book possesses good notes and a useful bibliography. REVIEW: Lincoln Paine has laid out the broad sweep of human history as told from a seafaring perspective. This works well, since maritime activities encompass so much of human migration, trade, and conflict. The evolution of shipbuilding is discussed in numerous places throughout the narrative – in some cases, in substantial detail. Although great naval battles throughout history are mentioned, they are not a primary focus so readers looking for naval warfare stories should look elsewhere. Nor does Paine spend much time on famous maritime disasters, which others have written about in abundance. For example, the Lusitania and Titanic each get a couple of brief mentions, but the author leaves detailed treatment of those stories to others. No book about such a large subject can be truly comprehensive, but Paine does a nice job of painting the big picture. Most of that picture is about civilization’s seafaring experience from the earliest tribal excursions to the end of the age of sail. The emergence of steamships in the early 19th century doesn’t appear until after page 500. For those who like to do their reading on the move, I suggest choosing the electronic version of the book. At 600 pages of narrative and over 100 pages of notes and bibliography, it’s a bit large and heavy for convenient commuter reading. REVIEW: My interest in this book stems almost entirely from having read the Patrick O'Brian series with great pleasure - Master and Commander (Vol. Book 1) (Aubrey/Maturin Novels). If you are interested in historically accurate late 18th and early 19th century British naval power, a bit of how politics impacted the navy and life at sea, the late Patrick O'Brien gets a lot of accolades for his work in these 20 novels. This history book is a very thorough treatise on the subject of how navigation, so often only nominally mentioned in mainstream history text, was often the biggest dynamic involved in the creation of events highlighted in history. I have never considered myself a history buff but if more history books were written this way, a vivid writing style that easily keeps your attention, there would be, I think, more of them walking around today. I can think of no higher praise for a book like this. What a great job the author did of bringing his deep interest of this subject to life in these pages. A vast collection of historical pictures are included throughout the tome so you can often see what is being described and as a non-sailing person I found that to be a boon. Of particular interest in chapter 17, for me at least, was the Royal Navy mandating ships carry a new invention that would distill sea water to produce fresh water in 1772. Fresh water was a constant problem at sea and something that often was a prime issue throughout the O'Brian novels which ran to (about) 1815-1820. I assume that the mandate was slow to be applied, the navy was huge, and the invention had some limitations due to implementation, size for example, but I couldn't find anything that really described the invention with google. I wonder if James Lind was the inspiration for Dr. Maturin in the novels as Lord Cochrane was for Aubrey? REVIEW: Let me be clear. This is book is the very definition of a tome. It is nearly 700 pages long. And as the book proposes to discuss maritime history, the book does not even enter the modern period until the last 15% of the book. However, Mr. Paine has written a very readable and fascinating book. There is so much here to digest. I absolutely love the telling of history from the ancient world, and the discussions of places and empires that I was not readily familiar with. I also love the treatment of Asian and the Indian subcontinent maritime cultures in this book as frankly, though I am reasonably well-educated, much of historical treatments are very much Western based. This book seeks to redress this lack of discussion. And having read more information that is about the maritime culture in the Arabian Gulf and the Indian subcontinent, this is absolutely a great read. It should be noted that this is a book that will take some time to read (and admittedly, I have given a cursory examination to the whole book, but not quite finished yet) and digest. Though the narrative is accessible, this is certainly history written for the reader with a good amount of knowledge and desire to read the book. If you don't want to read serious history, this is not the book for you. The author really has done an incredible amount of research and this book is just a wonderful resource about a great subject. REVIEW: Lincoln Paine writes an extensive history of the sea, covering mainly the maritime trade that has used the ocean as a means of moving goods and by that method gaining power and wealth. The sea has been a source and a route to national and personal growth. It also, as Paine points out has been a major way that nations and different people come in contact with each other and diffuse their knowledge and cultural elements. Many of the details concern the small boats that trade was conducted with on rivers and waterways that connect to the seas including longboats and canoes. The history goes back to Egypt, the Greeks and into the Indian Ocean and the Pacific. Warships and naval forces are also covered but are not the main focus. The ships and trade routes are thoroughly examined along with the competition of the merchants and the diverse nations that are driven to the sea. Paine doesn't hesitate to give his opinions. He describes the U.S, Navy of today as stunningly ineffective in using its force and power to protect against piracy, a duty that has historically been that of a nation's navy. The rise of a merchant class and the beginning of worldwide trade is explained in a clear manner. The innovations that are brought about in ships and their voyages are well described along with how these changed the nations that were involved. The technological details are somewhat overlooked and what is missing from this story are the specific human involvements. This is a very nation and geo political centered history that moves from rafts to the navy of today. It is a description of growing globalization created by the sea and those who sail on it. This is a serious-minded history for those who really wish to learn more about the sea and the navigation, merchant class and those who sailed upon her and used the sea to expand, explore, trade and broaden their power. 106 pages at the end make up the notes, bibliography and index. REVIEW: Nearly three-quarters of the Earth's surface is covered in water yet written history tends to concentrate upon events on land. This is probably not too surprising. Events on land have a solidity and even a permanence that seems not to be reproduced by those occurring on the eternally changing sea. This lengthy, well-written maritime history makes a serious attempt to rectify the imbalance. There are many subjects for the author's attention. The early exploration of the Earth by sea borne voyagers whose courageous travels led to the colonization of far-flung land masses and islands was of primal importance. The birth of sea borne and river borne trade had crucial impacts on the growth of early economies. The creation and evolution of sea-going navies went hand-in-hand with the development of the early nation state. The modern era is defined by naval power and concomitant economic and political empire. The strongest case can be made that the modern world was born and nurtured by the sea. Maritime history is the history of the modern world. Author Lincoln Paine writes clearly and with a passionate love for his subject. He conveys his sense of excitement to the reader, which is a good thing given the book's length and its depth of detail. If you love history and/or stories about the sea as I do, you will enjoy this book. “The Sea and Civilization” is a superb maritime history that is definitely worth your attention. REVIEW: A book like this - with sprawling research about the human experience - is meant to be appreciated as a work of 'art' all by itself. It's amazing (even if obvious when you think about it) how much the sea has not just impacted, but created, human history. The only "flaw" with this book is that it does lean more toward the scholarly, as opposed to a 'human' narrative. Rarely are there close-up personal stories for a reader to focus on, and since that's my general preference there were times when my interest waned. It's not the kind of book I read every night. However, that's not the book Lincoln Paine promised - and the book description accurately presents what you can expect. I was definitely interested and informed, even if not always entertained. I appreciated the sprawling historical narrative. The accounts of seaward journeys of 1000s of years ago makes me think how small our American culture really is - we've accomplished a lot in about 230 years, but we're simply one more culture in a long line - and certainly one that got lucky with our continent-wide access to the sea. REVIEW: In World History, shortly after the development of fire, I learned that "civilization" was born in four major river valleys in four different places around the world. In time, civilization spread and became a global reality, even if some places are trying to de-civilize. "The Sea and Civilization" fills in that gap by highlighting how oceans and rivers connected people. Paine fills out through the modern era with the impact of oceans and rivers. It is a fascinating reminder that the major connections between people groups remain physical, and nothing is more effective for that connection than water. This is a serious read. If you are a casual student of history, it may take you some effort to get through this. However, I found it fascinating. It opened my eyes to several connections between cultures and civilizations that I would have missed, and reminded me of how, for example, the Phoenicians spread their influence so far without a massive land empire. I don't think I will sit down and straight-read "The Sea & Civilization" again, but it will remain a valuable reference work on the shelf for when I want to check out the maritime influence on a culture. REVIEW: “The Sea and Civilization” provides an intense look at the history of ships and sailing on the sea. I was particularly interested in this volume because it seemed interested in its own right and also tied in with a book I am also reading about key maps of the world. This ended up being the more immediately compelling volume, and I have read the larger portion of it over the past few weeks without difficulty. Its awesome length (which never feels cumbersome or overly laden with information) makes it feel more like a coffee table book (which it is not) because you may pick it up and read a chapter and not come back to it for a few days...but each time you come back to it you will enjoy a piece of history. Sometimes anecdotes feel entirely separate while at other times they become part of a larger exploration of a major expedition or expansion. However, you want to read the book....all at once or over a period of time....it will work out well and provide a detailed look at the topic. REVIEW: Note the subtitle: A Maritime History of the World, not A History of the Maritime World. This book sets out to be nothing less than a history of the world with an emphasis on how water transportation, both commercial and military, has shaped it. As can be guessed, to say it's had quite an influence is an understatement. Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization, is "the land between two rivers," after all, and ancient Egyptian and Chinese and Indian civilizations grew in river valleys as well. And we haven't even gotten to Greek civilization [the Aegean] and Roman and Phoenician/Carthaginian civilization [the Mediterranean] yet, let alone past 1 AD/CE. This is a must-read for anyone with even a passing interest in history or maritime matters. REVIEW: This is the greatest worldwide maritime history covering all cultures from the beginning of civilization. You don't want this book to end as you sail through the seven seas savoring every page. You learn interesting facts like trade contact between ancient China and ancient Rome, the beginnings of slavery in the Americas, Polynesian navigation of the Pacific, the ramifications of China's Ming Dynasty's decision to end maritime efforts, the intrigues behind Columbus' endeavors to find sponsors for his trip, and of course pirates. REVIEW: Taking a chronological approach from the ancient world to the present Paine spirals around the globe focusing on reasons as diverse as the ancient North Sea to the Pacific Islands to the great voyages of European discovery to the present. What he does do well is situate the story of seafaring into the mainstream of human history--indeed no one disputes its significance--even as everyone spends more time analyzing land-based actions. Perhaps Paine's work will help to change this behavior. Overall, this is a very fine book, a bit hard to read at times, and certainly a weighty reading experience, but it is still a very fine work. REVIEW: This is a great book, written by an author whose knowledge of maritime history is as deep as the Pacific. It is well-written, easy to read, but filled with fascinating facts and insights about man’s leap onto the world’s waterways, on steadily improving boats and ships of various kinds. The author moves away from purely Eurocentric surveys of naval history of the past, and discusses Middle Eastern, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Indian naval endeavors as well. The author emphasizes the need to remember that oceans, seas, rivers, and lakes have been the true channels by which our planet has become a single global economy over time. I recommend this book. REVIEW: Lincoln Paine's magisterial "The Sea and Civilization" sets out to offer readers nothing less than a comprehensive examination of the influence of the sea upon world history. At over 700 pages, the book is far too large to cover in even the most comprehensive of reviews. Paine is telling a grand story and he does it in a grand way, with an enormous cast of historical characters who ride (and rule) the waves in everything from arm-powered canoes to nuclear-powered supercarriers. In between, we meet explorers, for whom the sea was the final frontier; warriors, whose ships were pawns on a watery chess board; and merchants, who used first rivers and later oceans as an information and commercial superhighway. Throughout, Paine offers surprisingly detailed and human accounts of mankind's struggle and relationship with 71% of his planet. "The Sea and Civilization" is a novel and highly welcome contribution to world history libraries and anyone interested in one of the most powerful natural forces in the human experience. REVIEW: I enjoy reading about history and how trading or different technologies changed the world, so I thought I'd enjoy this book, and I did. The book started back with the origins of boats and rafts (for use on salt water as well as boats used on fresh water lakes and rivers) and how they were used by those societies all over the world for trade, travel (including migration patterns and original navigation techniques), war, hunting, etc. Painetalked about how this impacted the boating cultures and the cultures reached by boat and ship. He included descriptions of how the boats were made, either using archaeological evidence or quoting people from the time period. He talked about what sort of goods (and ideas) were traded. Basically, he covered a lot of information. I liked that he used as much scientific and historical record evidence as possible and allowed people to draw their own conclusions. He drew a lot of research together and put it in one place, which is highly useful. Overall, it's a very impressive book. REVIEW: The author covers a lot of material in a relatively short book (I consider 600 pages covering such a broad subject to be short). The book is divided into 20 chapters and begins with the earliest signs of human travel on the waters (including fresh waters). He covers all of the major civilizations and how the sea impacted their development and interactions with each other. The flow makes sense. He follows a roughly chronological order and subdivides it by region. Hence the Mediterranean is covered multiple times, each time focusing on a different civilization or group of civilizations. The last part of the book becomes global to coincide with global trade and common shipbuilding techniques. He covers wars, trade, and politics all from a maritime perspective. I found the book very interesting since I had never looked at history purely from this perspective. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in this subject. It gives a great introduction and if you find yourself interested in exploring a particular topic further, an extensive bibliography is included and many notes. REVIEW: The author provides a broad view of maritime history from almost prehistoric times to the present, covering both commercial and military endeavors, and spanning from East to West. Of course even 600+ pages preclude more than a solid overview of this vast topic. I was impressed by Mr. Paine's extensive work in bringing together great, diverse sources (with over 100 pages of footnotes!), selection of the more pertinent quotes and illustrations, and relentless chronological presentation. Paine begins and ends each chapter with an excellent summary of the most significant events and inventions, but stops short of dictating what the reader is to conclude from the almost endless information. This is not a quick read or a page turner, but will appeal to a student of history who appreciates filling in gaps in his knowledge. So many historical treatises are written from the land-lubber viewpoint with the sea as an afterthought. The greatest value in Mr. Paine's presentation lies in viewing the flow of history from the deck of every kind of vessel imaginable. REVIEW: "If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea." [Antoine de Saint Exupéry]. One of my favorite quotes, and especially relevant to this book. I love history but oftentimes have a difficult time devoting time to massive history tomes due to other priorities in my life; however, due to my fascination with the oceans and the way civilization developed in the sea faring age this book was gripping and worth the (somewhat significant) investment of time. This book is beautifully written and flows nicely; giving a historical account of the how rivers, seas, and oceans shaped the development of the old world. A definite bonus is that, my perception at least, was that this book was not written from an ethnocentric, western viewpoint. A final bonus is that there are an incredible amount of citations and references for those that want to learn more to dig into. This wasn't an easy read by any means, but certainly worth it. REVIEW: This is a fascinating alternate look at how the wet parts of the planet were involved in history. Did you know how Polynesians navigated out of sight of land? Did you know Ptolemy II built a "Suez Canal"? Did you know how the "Canary Islands" got their name? Did you know why ships are measured in tonnage? I'm not telling! You have to read and find out! REVIEW: Seven hundred pages. But that includes the extensive notes and comprehensive bibliography. It's a might tome indeed. But is it readable? Is it interesting, does it draw together history and make smart connections? Yes, yes and yes. This is what makes the book worth the time it takes to read. It's November, winter is starting here in the US, if you want to really know about our human history on the water, this is the book to spend the long cold nights with. REVIEW: Really enjoyed this overview of the history of sea travel, commerce and warfare. Started a little slow at first, with the migration of Pacific islanders, but the pace quickly increases and I came to appreciate how interesting and informative this book is. Well written. REVIEW: The book goes from early seafaring achievements to modern seafaring without losing its rhythm. Encompasses human history throughout seafaring lens and show us another aspect about the interconnection between human evolution and the relation to the sea. Good book. REVIEW: One of the well researched and presented material ever read about the connection of the maritime and it's profound long lasting affect on civilization and we know it now ! An absolute must read for anyone interested in how the past influences our present! REVIEW: A book like this - with sprawling research about the human experience - is meant to be appreciated as a work of 'art' all by itself. It's amazing (even if obvious when you think about it) how much the sea has not just impacted, but created, human history. REVIEW: Wonderfully insightful tome on how much seafaring and long distance trade affected the shape and content of all of the world's civilizations ancient and modern. And not just western seafaring Chinese, Indian, Arab, Polynesian, and some extent Meso-American. Comprehensive and well written. Just heavy to carry around. REVIEW: I gave this to Husband for Christmas, expected it to be one of the typical obscure niche books he collects. I was very surprised at how very interesting and accessible it was for even a musician. If you have a curious bent, I recommend you give this a try. REVIEW: This book provides a valuable sea-based perspective on history different from what we typically learn in school. I found this highly enlightening. The author provides great detail, sometimes more detail than I would have liked. However, the detail shows the author's mastery of the subject, and offers something for all readers. REVIEW: A history of mankind, told through the technology of sailing. A most interesting point of view, this book will be of interest to historians of all flavors. History is defined by the knowledge of mankind put into writing. It can be extended back a bit by including pictures and models left behind by our forbears. And it is clarified by examination of the boats left behind on the ocean floor (and sometimes in graves). Well told, informative and worth a place on my bookshelf. REVIEW: Extremely interesting. I am still plugging my way through the book (about 1/3 through). Learning a lot more about Chinese, south sea islanders, Muslim traders than I could have imagined. Also, he weaves history throughout the book and how it changes the maritime situation. REVIEW: A really well written take on history that is not adequately taught in schools. Really brings out the importance of water transport in the development and continuation of our "civilized" world. REVIEW: Encyclopedic coverage. Well written, although filled with so much information makes for slow reading. Not summer reading, but well worth the time put in to obtain such a thorough coverage of the subject. REVIEW: An excellent read about the history of our waters and how they shaped our development. A book anyone interested in Maritime History must have. REVIEW: Excellent! Well researched and presented. Amazing, amazing, amazing. It's basically a history of the world, told through water. REVIEW: Loved it. An incredible amount of historical information. Almost more of a reference book, but still written well, and stuffed full of fascinating history. REVIEW: A lot of great information regarding the customs and business practices of mariners throughout the world since earliest historical times. REVIEW: I like the book. I cannot say that I love it yet but it is interesting and loaded with information for real maritime history buffs. Thank you. REVIEW: Very good read .. detail but not minutia. Solid work on the growth of global connections through trade both the ones intended and the ones not. REVIEW: Took me four months to read but it was so good I stopped to underline a lot. Ties together a tremendous amount of history in a new way. Loved it. REVIEW: I learned more history and geography than I believed possible and am grateful for historical background against which to better understand the world in which we live today. REVIEW: I recommend this book to anyone interested in trade, ships, maritime history, navies....anything related to the sea and mankind's interface with the sea.. I always ship books Media Mail in a padded mailer. 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I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the "business" of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly - even if I am absent. 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