BOOK REVIEW: The Sea in History – A Vision for the Future?

By Christian Buchet

A most welcome and unexpected bonus or “Special Issue” that followed the invaluable four volume The Sea in History that was reviewed here over the past four months.

This is a very brief (67 page) and very clear summary of all that has gone before combined with some interesting comments as to where we go from here. It is divided into three very thoughtful chapters:-

  • The Sea as the Drive (Driver?) of History,
  • The Sea as a Drive (Driver?) of Power and Influence, and
  • The Sea as a Catalyst of Economic and Political Development

It reminds us of Sir Walter Raleigh’s brilliantly perceptive and succinct comment, made in 1595 as he faced execution in the Tower of London: “For whosoever commands the sea commands the trade; whosoever commands the trade of the world commands the riches of the world, and consequently the world itself.”

That is really what maritime history, indeed all history, is all about. The Sea in History reinforces that reality far better than any previous publication.

Available from Association Oceanides, Paris, France


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