Atlantic Ocean: The Illustrated History of the Ocean That Changed the World

Martin W. Sandler, Author, Dennis Reinhartz, Foreword by , foreword by Dennis Reinhartz. Sterling $35 (468p) ISBN 978-1-4027-4724-3

This history of the Atlantic world is packed with paintings, maps both ancient and modern, and photographs. Prolific historian and Emmy-winning TV writer Sandler points out that scholars have only recently focused on the Americas, Europe and Africa together as a thriving regional system connected by the great ocean. The book begins in the ancient world, when sailors ventured surprisingly far out into the Atlantic with no navigational instruments. The narrative pace picks up after Columbus’s voyages, with beautiful maps and images of the early explorations. As history, there is little new in the chapters on the American, French and Industrial revolutions and the world wars, but the book shines in depicting the ships that traveled the ocean, their technical progress and voyages, the massive movement of immigrants and slaves, and today’s continuing exploration of the Atlantic. While the writing is a cut above that of the usual coffee-table book, it’s the illustrations that really stand out, so readers will have a thoroughly satisfying time just poring over the 480 color illustrations and their extensive captions. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 10/27/2008
Release date: 11/01/2008
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