- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: Belknap Press; 1st edition (October 8, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0674047656
- ISBN-13: 978-0674047655
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #755,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Mortal Sea: Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail Hardcover – October 8, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
I bought this book after it was reviewed and the author interviewed in the Portsmouth (NH) local paper, THE WiRE. At last, a book that attempts to make it all clear for the reader: what is the problem, how did it become the problem, what is the solution. But, as with all good stories, nothing about fishing is that simple. So the author begins with the Vikings in the New World and covers the history of fishing the northwest Atlantic until about 1930's, and the last cry of the age of sails. It's a tremendous story, full of rich detail, and every actor in it has contradictory motives.
It is also, I must warn, an extremely erudite book. This was a hard read, on a Masters or Doctorate level. Extremely rich, complex vocabulary and compound-complex sentence structure that had me re-reading pages on many occasions. But I don't get the impression that it is showiness for the sake of showiness. (Grammar usually goes hay-wire when an author is substituting ego-driven logorrhea for sense.Read more ›
eternal sea, showing how much the North Atlantic has changed over hundreds of years of human
exploitation. He knows his fish, but he also knows the fishers. This is environmental and
social history of the highest order, a decisive intervention in the current debates about
our future relationship to the oceans. It takes history offshore, and returns it richer
for the voyage into this largely unknown past.
As I am a Farley Mowat fan, I was a bit perplexed at there being no mention of his book, Sea of Slaughter, as it covered much the same ground and proceeded from a like inspiration. Mowat and Bolster both cite the sense of fishermen that they knew the fishing grounds were in trouble as reasons they undertook their books.
With this book, Bolster does at least four things. First, he tells the environmental history of the North Atlantic from the standpoint of the longue duree, the long view. Second, and related to the first point, he shows how only a centuries-long study can point up the ocean's fragility and decline. Third, he insists that, at long last, the Atlantic itself should be recognized as a character in the history of the Atlantic World. Fourth, he sounds an alarm by announcing how far humans have to go in any course designed to resuscitate the North Atlantic. Because of its many strengths, this book will continue to be significant for long while.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
excellent historical peer reviewed text concerning the North Atlantic Fisheries (actually a landmark must-have book on this topic) It is an easy read and details the 1700s to 1850s... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Stevie B
The Author did an amazing a mount of research. He tied it altogether in a very readable interesting book. Read morePublished 7 months ago by lee Ellsworth
An interesting and well documented account of the recurring pattern of human consumption overwhelming the rhythms of natural systems. A sad tale that is still unfolding. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Elisabeth M. Drake
This is a fine book. I would quibble with the title "Fishing the Atlantic," because it concerns primarily only a small part of the Atlantic, from Cape Cod to Newfoundland. Read morePublished 17 months ago by lyndonbrecht
Excellent book, especially for fisherma and those interested in man's looting of the sea.Published 20 months ago by Yvonne Dillon
Very informative and well researched. This book puts into perspective what we have done to our sea.Published 20 months ago by Kevin Chu
I bought this book because it looked like it would have some interesting tales of shipping on the Atlantic. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Mostyn
This book is nothing short of a masterpiece. Impeccable research combined with excellent writing make this a must-have for any student of American Maritime History and the... Read morePublished on July 17, 2014 by J. Stevens