The Mortal Sea

Author: W. Jeffrey Bolster
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674067215
Format: PDF, ePub
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Since the time of the Vikings, the Atlantic has shaped the lives of people who depend on it for survival, and people have shaped the Atlantic. In his account of this interdependency, Bolster, a historian and professional seafarer, takes us through a millennium-long environmental history of our impact on one of the largest ecosystems in the world.

The Mortal Sea

Author: W. Jeffrey Bolster
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674070461
Format: PDF, Kindle
Download Now
Since the time of the Vikings, the Atlantic has shaped the lives of people who depend on it for survival, and people have shaped the Atlantic. In his account of this interdependency, Bolster, a historian and professional seafarer, takes us through a millennium-long environmental history of our impact on one of the largest ecosystems in the world.

The Mortal Sea

Author: W. Jeffrey Bolster
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674047656
Format: PDF, ePub
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Looks at the environmental history of commercial fishing in the North Atlantic Ocean and the relationship between humans and the sea.

Black Jacks

Author: W. Jeffrey. Bolster
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674028473
Format: PDF, Docs
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Few Americans, black or white, recognize the degree to which early African American history is a maritime history. W. Jeffrey Bolster shatters the myth that black seafaring in the age of sail was limited to the Middle Passage. Seafaring was one of the most significant occupations among both enslaved and free black men between 1740 and 1865. Tens of thousands of black seamen sailed on lofty clippers and modest coasters. They sailed in whalers, warships, and privateers. Some were slaves, forced to work at sea, but by 1800 most were free men, seeking liberty and economic opportunity aboard ship. Bolster brings an intimate understanding of the sea to this extraordinary chapter in the formation of black America. Because of their unusual mobility, sailors were the eyes and ears to worlds beyond the limited horizon of black communities ashore. Sometimes helping to smuggle slaves to freedom, they were more often a unique conduit for news and information of concern to blacks. But for all its opportunities, life at sea was difficult. Blacks actively contributed to the Atlantic maritime culture shared by all seamen, but were often outsiders within it. Capturing that tension, "Black Jacks" examines not only how common experiences drew black and white sailors together--even as deeply internalized prejudices drove them apart--but also how the meaning of race aboard ship changed with time. Bolster traces the story to the end of the Civil War, when emancipated blacks began to be systematically excluded from maritime work. Rescuing African American seamen from obscurity, this stirring account reveals the critical role sailors played in helping forge new identities for black people in America. An epic tale of the rise and fall of black seafaring, "Black Jacks" is African Americans' freedom story presented from a fresh perspective.

Fish on Friday

Author: Brian Fagan
Publisher: ReadHowYouWant.com
ISBN: 1442995750
Format: PDF, Docs
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Encompassing ancient mythology, medieval religion, boatbuilding, commerce, and cutting-edge climate science, this text shows the intricate tapestry of history in all its fascinating, astonishing complexity.

A Sea of Misadventures

Author: Amy Mitchell-Cook
Publisher: Univ of South Carolina Press
ISBN: 1611173027
Format: PDF, Kindle
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A Sea of Misadventures examines more than one hundred documented shipwreck narratives from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century as a means to understanding gender, status, and religion in the history of early America. Though it includes all the drama and intrigue afforded by maritime disasters, the book’s significance lies in its investigation of how the trauma of shipwreck affected American values and behavior. Through stories of death and devastation, Amy Mitchell-Cook examines issues of hierarchy, race, and gender when the sphere of social action is shrunken to the dimensions of a lifeboat or deserted shore. Rather than debate the veracity of shipwreck tales, Mitchell-Cook provides a cultural and social analysis that places maritime disasters within the broader context of North American society. She answers questions that include who survived and why, how did gender or status affect survival rates, and how did survivors relate their stories to interested but unaffected audiences? Mitchell-Cook observes that, in creating a sense of order out of chaotic events, the narratives reassured audiences that anarchy did not rule the waves, even when desperate survivors resorted to cannibalism. Some of the accounts she studies are legal documents required by insurance companies, while others have been a form of prescriptive literature—guides that taught survivors how to act and be remembered with honor. In essence, shipwreck revealed some of the traits that defined what it meant to be Anglo-American. In an elaboration of some of the themes, Mitchell-Cook compares American narratives with Portuguese narratives to reveal the power of divergent cultural norms to shape so basic an event as a shipwreck.

The Unnatural History of the Sea

Author: Callum Roberts
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 9781597261616
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Humanity can make short work of the oceans’ creatures. In 1741, hungry explorers discovered herds of Steller’s sea cow in the Bering Strait, and in less than thirty years, the amiable beast had been harpooned into extinction. It’s a classic story, but a key fact is often omitted. Bering Island was the last redoubt of a species that had been decimated by hunting and habitat loss years before the explorers set sail. As Callum M. Roberts reveals in The Unnatural History of the Sea, the oceans’ bounty didn’t disappear overnight. While today’s fishing industry is ruthlessly efficient, intense exploitation began not in the modern era, or even with the dawn of industrialization, but in the eleventh century in medieval Europe. Roberts explores this long and colorful history of commercial fishing, taking readers around the world and through the centuries to witness the transformation of the seas. Drawing on firsthand accounts of early explorers, pirates, merchants, fishers, and travelers, the book recreates the oceans of the past: waters teeming with whales, sea lions, sea otters, turtles, and giant fish. The abundance of marine life described by fifteenth century seafarers is almost unimaginable today, but Roberts both brings it alive and artfully traces its depletion. Collapsing fisheries, he shows, are simply the latest chapter in a long history of unfettered commercialization of the seas. The story does not end with an empty ocean. Instead, Roberts describes how we might restore the splendor and prosperity of the seas through smarter management of our resources and some simple restraint. From the coasts of Florida to New Zealand, marine reserves have fostered spectacular recovery of plants and animals to levels not seen in a century. They prove that history need not repeat itself: we can leave the oceans richer than we found them.

Aden and the Indian Ocean Trade

Author: Roxani Eleni Margariti
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 1469606712
Format: PDF, Docs
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Positioned at the crossroads of the maritime routes linking the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, the Yemeni port of Aden grew to be one of the medieval world's greatest commercial hubs. Approaching Aden's history between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries through the prism of overseas trade and commercial culture, Roxani Eleni Margariti examines the ways in which physical space and urban institutions developed to serve and harness the commercial potential presented by the city's strategic location. Utilizing historical and archaeological methods, Margariti draws together a rich variety of sources far beyond the normative and relatively accessible legal rulings issued by Islamic courts of the time. She explores environmental, material, and textual data, including merchants' testimonies from the medieval documentary repository known as the Cairo Geniza. Her analysis brings the port city to life, detailing its fortifications, water supply, harbor, customs house, marketplaces, and ship-building facilities. She also provides a broader picture of the history of the city and the ways merchants and administrators regulated and fostered trade. Margariti ultimately demonstrates how port cities, as nodes of exchange, communication, and interconnectedness, are crucial in Indian Ocean and Middle Eastern history as well as Islamic and Jewish history.

The Human Shore

Author: John R. Gillis
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226922251
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Since before recorded history, people have congregated near water. But as growing populations around the globe continue to flow toward the coasts on an unprecedented scale and climate change raises water levels, our relationship to the sea has begun to take on new and potentially catastrophic dimensions. The latest generation of coastal dwellers lives largely in ignorance of the history of those who came before them, the natural environment, and the need to live sustainably on the world’s shores. Humanity has forgotten how to live with the oceans. In The Human Shore, a magisterial account of 100,000 years of seaside civilization, John R. Gillis recovers the coastal experience from its origins among the people who dwelled along the African shore to the bustle and glitz of today’s megacities and beach resorts. He takes readers from discussion of the possible coastal location of the Garden of Eden to the ancient communities that have existed along beaches, bays, and bayous since the beginning of human society to the crucial role played by coasts during the age of discovery and empire. An account of the mass movement of whole populations to the coasts in the last half-century brings the story of coastal life into the present. Along the way, Gillis addresses humankind’s changing relationship to the sea from an environmental perspective, laying out the history of the making and remaking of coastal landscapes—the creation of ports, the draining of wetlands, the introduction and extinction of marine animals, and the invention of the beach—while giving us a global understanding of our relationship to the water. Learned and deeply personal, The Human Shore is more than a history: it is the story of a space that has been central to the attitudes, plans, and existence of those who live and dream at land’s end.

The Sea Mark

Author: Russell M. Lawson
Publisher: University Press of New England
ISBN: 1611687179
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The first complete narrative history of Captain John Smith's exploration of the New England coast