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Elegantly written and encyclopedic in scope, with an expert grasp of the demands of seamanship in every age, The Sea and Civilization deserves a wide readership. For landlocked historians, it will be a powerful stimulus to dip their toes—and perhaps their pens—in saltwater and for readers a forceful reminder that the urge to "go down to the sea in ships" has shaped civilizations and cultures in every period and in every part of the globe. —The Wall Street Journal
Please join us when Lincoln Paine comes to present and sign THE SEA & CIVILIZATION: A Maritime History of the World.
A monumental retelling of world history through the lens of maritime
enterprise, 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.
Lincoln Paine takes us back to the origins of long-distance migration by sea with our ancestors' first forays from Africa and Eurasia to Australia and the Americas. He demonstrates the critical role of maritime trade to the civilizations of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Indus Valley. He reacquaints us with the great seafaring cultures of antiquity like those of the Phoenicians and Greeks, as well as those of India and Southeast and East Asia, who parlayed their navigational skills, shipbuilding techniques, and commercial acumen to establish thriving overseas colonies and trade routes in the centuries leading up to the age of European expansion. And finally, his narrative traces how commercial shipping and naval warfare brought about the enormous demographic, cultural, and political changes that have globalized the world throughout the post-Cold War era.
This tremendously readable intellectual adventure shows us the world in a new light, in which the sea reigns supreme. We find out how a once-enslaved East African king brought Islam to his people, what the American "sail-around territories" were, and what the Song Dynasty did with twenty-wheel, human-powered paddleboats with twenty paddle wheels and up to three hundred crew. Above all, Paine 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.
Lincoln Paine is the author of five books and more than fifty articles, reviews, and lectures on various aspects of maritime history. From 2009 to 2012, Lincoln was the guest curator and archivist of the Norman H. Morse Collection of Ocean Liner Materials at the Osher Map Library, University of Southern Maine in Portland, Maine, and since 2006 he has been an editor of Itinerario: International Journal on the History of European Expansion and Global Interaction, published at Leiden University, The Netherlands, in conjunction with Cambridge University Press.He serves on the boards of the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath (one of the ten best maritime museums in the world, according to marineinsight.com), and of The Telling Room, a non-profit writing center for children and young adults in Portland.
He is a New Orleans native living in Portland, Maine, with his wife, Allison. Their daughters happen to be named for ships.