Paine, “War Is Better Than Tribute” (The Tripolitan War of 1801–1805)

‘War Is Better Than Tribute’

Naval History 15.3 (2001): 20–25.

The war between the United States and Tripoli from 1801 to 1805 was the longest waged by the United States between the American Revolution and the Vietnam War. It was seven weeks longer than the Civil War and four months longer than U.S. involvement in World War II. Although neither side suffered heavy casualties, and the war was largely one of blockade and inshore action, rather than fleet or even single-ship engagements, this conflict well illustrates the limits and the potential of sea power, the conduct of international relations, and the establishment of national identity. Continue reading Paine, “War Is Better Than Tribute” (The Tripolitan War of 1801–1805)

S&C: IJMH Roundtable Reviews

International Journal of Maritime History 28:3 (2016): 576–600. © The Author(s) 2016

IJMH Roundtable Reviews of Lincoln Paine, The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World, with a response by Lincoln Paine

Lincoln Paine, The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World, New York: Knopf, 2013; xxxv + 744 pp., illustrations, ISBN 978-1-4000-4409-2; $40.00 (hbk).

Paul D. Buell
Charité Universitäts Medizin, Berlin, Germany

Writing a general history of anything, particularly when the anything spans thousands of years and all the major cultures of the world, is perhaps a foolhardy endeavour, but Lincoln Paine has done just that and by and large done it quite well. To be sure, there Continue reading S&C: IJMH Roundtable Reviews

The Sea and Civilization: The Origins of a Globalized World

Published on Apr 5, 2016

Navigate the timless connection between oceans and the evolution of our contemporary world with Maritime Historian and Author of The Sea and Civilisation Lincoln Paine and Writer and Historian Sifra Lentin in conversation with Cultural Theorist Ranjit Hoskote as they reacquaint us with historic seafaring cultures and reveal how trade, religions and entire cultures spread across the world’s waterways to build the foundations of free trade, liberal commerce and global foreign policy.

This program is in collaboration with Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations and U.S. Consulate General Mumbai.

Review of Cooper, The Medieval Nile

The Northern Mariner/Le Marin du Nord 26:1 (January 2016): 80-82 (

John P. Cooper. The Medieval Nile: Route, Navigation, and Landscape in Islamic Egypt. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press,, 2014. 432 pp., illustrations, maps, tables, graphs, notes, index. US $75.00, hardback; ISBN 978-9- 77416-6143.

The opening of the Aswan High Dam in 1970 had a profound impact on the people and economy of Egypt, but its effect on our understanding of Egyptian history has been equally dramatic. Virtually every student learns that the Nile Valley drew its fertility and prosperity from the annual inundation, which spread water and alluvium along the floodplain and into the delta. The dam was intended to prevent widespread flooding, provide a store of water against years of drought, and improve navigation. One result is that the river today displays “little of its radical seasonal variability,” and we have little sense of just how tricky travel was on the Nile for the preceding five thousand years. Continue reading Review of Cooper, The Medieval Nile

Greater Portland Landmarks talk

Earlier this week I gave an illustrated Landmarks Lecture entitled “The Entrepreneurs: Architecture and Maritime Enterprise in Nineteenth-Century Portland,” which examines how the architecture of Portland’s nineteenth-century residential, commercial, and political construction reflects their entrepreneurial builders’ personal aspirations and civic commitment.

It’s a different approach to maritime history than I’ve attempted before, but one that I think has some potential. My thanks to GPL, the Portland Public Library, and Community Television Network

I also want to acknowledge the generous research help I received from Laura Sprague; Hillary Bassett and Alessa  Wylie, Greater Portland Landmarks; and Nicholas Noyes and William Barry, Maine Historical Society.

S&C review: Middle Ground Journal

Review of The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World, by Stephen Nepa, Temple University, The Middle Ground Journal 12 (Spring 2016).
Accessed, Jan. 18, 2016.

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. Continue reading S&C review: Middle Ground Journal

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.

Continue reading S&C review: International Journal of Nautical Archaeology