All posts by Lincoln

S&C review: International Journal of Nautical Archaeology

International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 44:2 (2015): 453–55
Reviewed by Julia Strauss, London

Man’s interaction with the sea has been a driving force in human history, through migration, war, exploration and trade. This is what Lincoln Paine hopes to demonstrate, and accomplishes admirably, in this monumental history of the world from a maritime point of view. The reader should not be put off by the 600 pages of text, for each chapter can stand on its own; it is, however, a compelling read and will surely appeal to a wide audience. This reviewer, at least, was sufficiently captivated to read about places and eras that had not previously been of great interest to her.

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Review of Schalansky, Atlas of Remote Islands

Originally published in World Ocean Journal 2 (2015): 16–23

Book Review: Judith Schalansky’s Atlas of Remote Islands: Fifty Islands I Have Never Set Foot on and Never Will.

According to one estimate, there are upwards of 8.8 million islands in the world.[1] As Christian Depraetere, a leading practitioner of nissology (the study of islands) has put it, “islands are the rule rather than the exception.”[2] From a nissological perspective, the visible land of our bluewater orb constitutes nothing more than a sprawling archipelago, dominated by the big islands of America, Eurasia, Africa, Australia, and Antarctica to be sure, but a cluster of islands nonetheless. If this were not the case, ships would not be central to world trade. Perceptions matter, of course, but while we may scoff at the apocryphal British newspaper headline, “Fog in the Channel. Continent Cut Off,” the people of Easter Island (Rapa Nui) call their island Te Pito Te Henua, “the navel of the world.”[3]

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S&C review: Journal of Global History

Journal of Global History 10:2 (2015): 358–59
Reviewed by H. V. Bowen, professor in modern history, Swansea University, UK

This is a bold and ambitious book. One can only admire an author who sets out to write a maritime history of the world that seeks to explore long-running interactions between ‘the sea’ and ‘civilization’. Most historians would shy away from such a challenge in view of the enormous range of knowledge that is required to offer even a summary of maritime history that extends over several thousand years, as well as over every ocean and continent.

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S&C review: Naval History

Naval History 29:3 (June 2015): 68–69
Reviewed by Virginia Lunsford, associate professor of history, U.S. Naval Academy

While the current leaders of the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps realize the tremendous significance (and vulnerability) of the global maritime domain, Lincoln Paine fears that many folks do not. His new book, The Sea & Civilization: A Maritime History of the World, aims to awaken us from our blithe obliviousness. “I want to change the way you see the world,” Paine proclaims in the very first sentence of his substantial tome. He hopes to refocus his readers’ eyes on the 70 percent of the globe that is shaded blue and away from their traditional preoccupation with activities on territorial masses, or rather, he wants his readers to grasp that endeavors on land are actually predicated on the seas. He seeks to reveal that historically (and today), happenings at sea and between seas have made the big events on land possible.
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S&C review: Asian Review of World Histories

Asian Review of World Histories 3:1 (January 2015)
Reviewed by Karen M. TEOH, Stonehill College, Massachusetts, USA

This is a poignant moment to contemplate the sea, and man-kind’s relationship to it. The pressures of climate change and human activity—from large-scale aquaculture to container ship-ping, from mineral extraction to deep-sea exploration—have affected the oceans and the marine life on which we depend, usually not for the better. As Lincoln Paine conclusively demonstrates in this magisterial work, the seas are also a crucial, per-haps even central, point of focus in the story of human civilization.
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KALW and Firehouse Forum

The new year has brought with it the release of an interview and a group discussion in which I participated last fall.

The interview was on KALW radio’s “Crosscurrents,” hosted by Hana Baba, and discusses the underlying premise of The Sea and Civilization as well as the importance of the sea and maritime enterprise to the growth of the ports of San Francisco and Oakland.

We just aren't as aware of the importance of the maritime trade, commerce, and so on, as we once were, because it's really not visible. It's become removed from the centers of other human activity . . . but if you want to see the results of shipping, just get into a traffic jam. And the twenty-foot trailer or the forty-foot trailer [in front of you] is probably a few hours or a few days at the most from the back of a ship.

A few weeks later, I took part in the Maine Coast Book Shop’s Third Firehouse Forum in Damariscotta. There I shared the stage with Jim Nelson, maritime historian and author of historical fiction, most recently Dubh-linn (part of The Norsemen Saga and sequel to Fin Gall), and Warren Riess, president of the North American Society of Oceanic History (NASOH), maritime archeologist, and author (with Sheli O. Smith) of the newly released The Ship that Held Up Wall Street. Our collective thanks to Nicole Olivier for pulling together this event.


S&C review: Education About Asia

Education About ASIA 19:2 (Fall 2014): 90
Book Review Essays
Reviewed by James Holmes
One of the great questions preoccupying Asia watchers today is whether continental powers such as China, India, or Iran can go to sea by amassing enough overseas commerce, merchant and naval fleets, and forward outposts to support voyages spanning the seven seas. And if they can, how will they do business in great waters, and how should established maritime powers interact with the newcomers to safeguard longstanding interests?
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S&C review: The Northern Mariner/Le marin du nord

The Northern Mariner / Le marin du nord  24:1&2 (2014): 195–97.

Reviewed by  Louis Arthur Norton.

The Sea and Civilization is an ambitious investigation of maritime history as it relates to and affects the advances of the world’s civilizations. Lincoln Paine leads his readers into a maritime maelstrom of the science, technology, cartography, industry, commerce, and politics of humankind as it is linked to the navigable waters of the world. He also touches upon sociology, religion, naval conflicts, international relations, transnational communications, intercultural migration, and exchange of natural resources. In summary, this work is an extremely complex narrative of mariners and ordinary people, and their varied activities that connected them to the seas and oceans.

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The Sea and Civilization, Bibliography (Chapters 16–20)

Chapter 16: The Maritime Power in the Seventeenth Century

Albion, Robert G. Forests and Sea Power: The Timber Problem of the Royal Navy, 1652–1862.1926. Reprint Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2000.

Ali, Shanti Sadiq. The African Dispersal in the Deccan: From Medieval to Modern Times. New Delhi: Orient Longman, 1996.

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