From the author of the acclaimed The Great Sea, David Abulafia's new book guides listeners along the world's greatest bodies of water to reveal their primary role in human history. The main protagonists are the three major oceans - the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Indian - which together comprise the majority of the earth's water and cover over half of its surface. These waterways carried goods, plants, livestock, and, of course people - free and enslaved - across vast expanses, transforming and ultimately linking irrevocably the economies and cultures of Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Americas.
Far more than merely another history of exploration, The Boundless Sea tells how maritime networks gradually formed a continuum of interaction and interconnection. Working chronologically, Abulafia moves from the earliest forays of peoples taking hand-hewn canoes into uncharted waters, to the routes taken daily by supertankers in the thousands. History on the grandest scale and scope, crafted with passion and precision, this is a project few could have undertaken. Abulafia, whom The Atlantic calls "superb writer with a gift for lucid compression and an eye for the telling detail", proves again why he ranks as one of the world's greatest storytellers.
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- Sean Steinfeger
A fabulous book, beautifully read
Abulafia's book is breathtakingly ambitious - an attempt at telling the entire history of man on the seas. Luckily, his skills as a scholar and researcher are up to the task, and we are left with one giant book of magnificent depth and breadth that is unlikely ever to be equalled. Nigel Patterson's reading is excellent - clear, unhurried, and no hindrance whatsoever to the listener. For anyone remotely interested in the salty side of human history, this is an unequivocal recommend.