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The Conquest of the Ocean by Brian Lavery
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The Conquest of the Ocean

by Brian Lavery

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As someone who loves the ocean and was raised by a marine biologist, the history of the sea is interesting to me. Lavery does a good job with this broad topic. He takes the reader from the beginnings of seafaring all the way to present day. With the full maps, pictures, and art the images just become more defined. Using his sources wisely, Lavery helps the reader understand how important the ocean has been and will continue to be to humanity. Watching the evolution of sailing was interesting too. To go from ships that could only partly sail and partly be rowed to most advanced yachts of today over the course of the book. This book could have been overwhelming in its information, going from the beginnings of seafaring all the way to modern day, but Lavery keeps that under control. He gives the reader an overview of the topic but not every little detail. Still at times the chapters were very long with lots of names, places, and dates. Very interesting and good read.

I give this book a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library. ( )
  lrainey | May 25, 2016 |
Brian Lavery presents this comprehensive and lavishly illustrated account of the history of seafaring from antiquity to the present day as a series of chronological descriptions of sea voyages through the ages, from the early Polynesians to the modern age. The individual sections consist of several chapters, and are frequently interspersed with maps, illustrations and photographs (of ship models and scientific navigational instruments) to illustrate the written matter so that there’s no time to get bored. A particular joy to me were the reproductions of the contemporary drawings, engravings, photographs and maps that bring a real flavour of the time to the material, helped greatly by numerous first-hand accounts written by travellers onboard ship. There are some amazing and interesting facts to be learned, as well as the answers to such varied questions such as: Who introduced the hammock to Europe? Who coined the term ‘Pacific’? When was the first transatlantic crossing made by a steamship? Which clipper won the closest ever tea race? - Inevitably, the earlier chapters are shorter than those covering relatively modern naval history, although these were the ones I would have wanted to learn more about, as I was already familiar with a lot of the topics covered in the sections on ‘Steam and Emigration’ and ‘The Wars on the Oceans’ through watching TV documentaries. As an introduction to the history of seafaring this could not be bettered, though, and with its very accessible and easy to understand style the book will no doubt appeal to the interested lay person. It is engaging and well written, and, because of its clear and unambiguous writing and layout, would also be suitable for older teenagers and young adults with an interest in maritime history. There’s a glossary at the end of the book explaining the most common nautical terms used in the book, and an extensive bibliography whets the appetite for more. Recommended for landlubbers young and old.

(This review was originally written as part of Amazon's Vine programme.) ( )
  passion4reading | Jul 5, 2013 |
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Naval history
from early Polynesians
to modern warfare.
(passion4reading)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 146540841X, Hardcover)

A captivating tale spanning 5,000 years of the oceans' history, The Conquest of the Ocean tells the stories of the remarkable individuals who sailed seas, for trade, to conquer new lands, to explore the unknown.

From the early Polynesians to the first circumnavigations by the Portuguese and the British, these are awe-inspiring tales of epic sea voyages involving great feats of seamanship, navigation, endurance, and ingenuity. Explore the lives and maritime adventures, many with first-person narratives of land seekers and globe charters such as Christopher Columbus, Captain James Cook, and Vitus Bering.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:48 -0400)

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Spans five thousand years of the ocean's history to tell the stories of the courageous individuals who sailed the seas for trade, to conquer new lands, and to explore the unknown, from the early Polynesians to the first circumnavigations by the Portuguese and the British.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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