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The Indian Ocean

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  16 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
In this stimulating and authoritative overview, Michael Pearson reverses the traditional angle of maritime history and looks from the sea to its shores - its impact on the land through trade, naval power, travel and scientific exploration. This vast ocean, both connecting and separating nations, has shaped many countries' cultures and ideologies through the movement of goo ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published July 3rd 2003 by Routledge (first published 2003)
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Warren Watts
Apr 06, 2012 Warren Watts rated it liked it
Shelves: history
I had somewhat high expectations for this book and I am somewhat disappointed that my expectations weren't met.

The book was obviously written by someone with a true love for the region. Thoroughly researched, the book provides an amazingly complete history of the Indian Ocean.

You will probably learn something from this book.

A plus for me:
Near the end of each chapter, the author provides personal accounts recorded by people in the period of history being explored. Those accounts really added a
May 24, 2011 David rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those interested in world history, trade, and geopolitics
This is an excellent history that treats from prehistory to the 21st century. The treatment of the past 100 years is a tad banal and obvious but the treatment of the greater history is brilliant.

Please note, Pearson is an academic and though writing for a general audience the book has that musty feel which most academics give off. Still, this is an important addition to an area of the world that should become increasingly important over the next 50 or 60 years...or whenever the oil runs out.

Oct 26, 2011 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
I can't say I would read this on my own, or, for that matter, recommend it to a casual reader. But it's a really impressive work of scholarship, relying on the insights and methods of Braudel to sketch out the history of the Indian Ocean. Pearson very nicely pivots from a reliance on the "deep structures" underlying the history of the Indian Ocean (monsoon winds in particular) and its littoral to an acknowledgement that technology "defeated" those deep structures in the 19th and 20th centuries.
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