A Maritime History of the World
The Sea and Civilization is a monumental retelling of world history from the waterline—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. The Sea and Civilization is a mesmerizing, rhapsodic narrative of maritime enterprise, from the origins of long-distance migration to the great seafaring cultures of antiquity; from Song Dynasty human-powered paddle-boats to aircraft carriers and container ships.
Lincoln Paine takes the reader on an intellectual adventure casting the world in a new light, in which the sea reigns supreme. Above all, he 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.
His conclusions deserve especially careful consideration, in particular, his observation that “the world maritime industry increasingly operates without reference to specific national interests,” that we ignore “the unintended consequences of industrial fishing” at our peril, and the fact that “for all its seagoing assets, in recent years [the U.S. Navy] has proven stunningly ineffective in exercising the sort of force historically associated with navies.”
The Sea and Civilization Audiobook is read by Tom Perkins (Tantor Media, Inc., a division of Recorded Books.)