International Journal of Maritime History 28:3 (2016): 589–600.
As anyone who has ever read two or more reviews of the same work knows, the parable of the blind men and the elephant is really about launching a book into the world. This can be exasperating at times, particularly for authors who are themselves reviewers (or teachers) and more accustomed to judging than being judged. But reading reviews of one’s work is more often than not a salutary exercise (people who claim not to are missing out), if only for the gratification of reading an affirmation of some aspect of their effort. So I begin with the acknowledgement of my thanks, not only for the kind things that Patrick Manning, Paul Buell, John Gillis, and Fabio López Lázaro have written, but for the time they have taken to give The Sea and Civilization such close readings and for the thoughtful critiques that flow from that.