I like to collect books on how commodities such as salt, cinnamon, cochineal, and indigo were developed in transported from one location to another. However we need to keep in mind that these products even though might have inspired maritime travel it is secondary to those of the people that actually did the traveling.
Lincoln Paine in "The Sea and Civilization" shows how waterways contributed to spreading many of the great cultures of mankind. One of the main parts of the book are the maps. I have a fair knowledge of where things are in the world of today and the world of antiquity. But without a clear picture the names of places are just that the names of places. So pay close attention to the maps in the book will be even more interesting.
The whole book is interesting but if I had to pick a favorite spot it would be the chapter on "The British Global Trade" once again I find it interesting looking at the maps. Conspicuously missing is the Piri Reis map.
There is an extensive bibliography and enough notes to know that Lincoln Paine knows his maritime history. We can also use the bibliography for further reading. Still this book is so compact with information that you will have to probably reread it to remember the small pieces of information that can easily be overlooked.
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