The Boundless Sea: A Human History of the Oceans Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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|Listening Length||41 hours and 2 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||December 19, 2019|
|Best Sellers Rank||
#103,859 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals)
#39 in Maritime History & Piracy (Audible Books & Originals)
#263 in Maritime History & Piracy (Books)
#321 in Historical Geography
Top reviews from the United States
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The editing left a bit to be desired. A good editor would have trimmed this by a couple hundred pages. And there was a lot of repetition that a good editor should have caught. These are both on the editor not the author in my opinion.
Most of all, Oxford, in its bean-counter driven race to the bottom of quality, blew it once again. To give a hardcover 1,000 page book a cheap paper spine like that is inexcusable. Mine basically dissolved 3/4 of the way through and I had to use book binding tape to hold it together. For a major book like this that will stand the test of time for decades this is truly disappointing.
I enjoyed the fact that the author references recent archeological discoveries while telling the stories.
This is a lengthy read, but worth the effort a chapter or two at a time.
This book spotlights the history of human association and movement across the seas for the purpose of exploration, trade, commerce, philosophical/religious expansion and empire building. The book starts with the seafaring societies found in the Pacific and their innate abilities to shuttle from island to island without the aid of compass or sextant. In the Atlantic the Bretons, the Frisians were sailing the seas along with the Vikings who were making crossings to the New World. After them came the Portuguese, the Spanish, the Dutch and British came to rule the high seas. If I had to point out an outstanding segment for me it would be chapter 51 names War and Peace, and more War. Just the measure of the incalculable tonnage that has been sent to the bottom of the sea is amazing.
The author gives a nod to the merchants and explorers and their quests for riches. The spice trade. The slave trade. We hear of the vessels that have both successfully and tragically traveled across the waters. are This book comes in at over 1,000 pages but it can be read in segments over an after dinner cocktail by the fire. With that visual out of the way I’ll admit that I read it on a bench on my patio with a cup of coffee nearby. This is highly interesting as well as informative if you’re at all interested in history which you'll learn often pivots on the history of the sea.
While a couple of hundred of pages short of War & Peace, this is a big book. It engages but the writing and approach are scholarly and at times a bit dense. Still, it provides an engaging look at oceans and humanity.
The Great Sea since the beginning of civilization is amazing as the author begins to focus on Mediterranean’s capacity over the last 3,000 years and reveals the imagination, resilience and ruthlessness of sailors. The unending domination continues as recently China leased the Piraeus docks from a cash-strapped Greek government. Building on economic and political strength is as old as the birth of civilization.
The trade of Indian Ocean from Alexandria and Red Sea ports to Indian coasts brings together the robust trade from Rome to India and the tremendous impact on commerce, culture and religion. The trade continues onwards into the eastern side of Indian Ocean to Malay Archipelago. The navigation based on monsoons propelled trade between China, the eastern archipelago and India. The Indian trade also brought Hinduism and Buddhism to South East Asia.
Author Abulafia decodes successive generations testing the sea as a source of survival. He also shows that it is a bearer of promises and rewards. The waterways were an ecosystem swayed by oceans currents and monsoon. But the political initiative and commerce determined the importance of Mediterranean cities and Asia. This is a fascinating book that includes every continent and brings amazing amount of history. I recommend this to readers interested in human adventure and ancient history.
Top reviews from other countries
I should have realised that illustrations and maps would not come out well or, indeed, at all. And there have been
several pages missing. So, I have bought the hardback version.
It is definitely my Desert Island choice !!
After reading the Conclusion, I felt a sense of bereavement that I had come to the end but immediately ordered book on the Mediterranean !!!
A history of cultures on the move, exploration, settlement, interaction and growth. The scholarship is vast but accessible. Each chapter is a self contained adventure with information about sailing techniques, navigational aids, personalities and tragedies. Starting with the tiny crafts of Micronesia and ending with the enormous passenger ships and bulk transporters, every page is full f accessible and gripping information. This us a book to be read and re read !
|sadly the author is ill served by his publisher! The 10 pages of maps are almost useless omitting most locations mentioned in each chapter and without any indication of journeys taken or the impact of wind and current. The indispensable notes are formatted in a style rendering them almost unusable ! However nothing can detract from Abulafia's style and wisdom, not to mention the witty asides!!!
Paperback? Perhaps, but I'd expect a broken spine.
Whatever, it's superb.
This is how history should be tackled as, despite its length, the pace and interest are maintained throughout and even before I had finished reading it, I felt compelled to recommend it to others.
This is a great book, on a perhaps the most important part of world history.
Absorbing, educational, and thoroughly enjoyable - a heady mixture.