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In a sweeping account, Atlantic Wars explores how warfare shaped the experiences of the peoples living in the watershed of the Atlantic Ocean between the late Middle Ages and the Age of Revolution.
Nearly everywhere they went, imperial soldiers, missionaries, colonial settlers, and traveling merchants sought local allies, and consequently they often incorporated themselves into African and indigenous North and South American diplomatic, military, and commercial networks. Indigenous and colonial communities felt vulnerable in these circumstances, and many believed that they had to engage in aggressive military action - or, at a minimum, issue dramatic threats - in order to survive. Examining the contours of European dominance, this work emphasizes its contingent nature and geographical limitations, the persistence of conflict and its inescapable impact on non-combatants' lives.
Addressing warfare at sea, warfare on land, and transatlantic warfare, Atlantic Wars covers the Atlantic world from the Vikings in the north, through the North American coastline and Caribbean, to South America and Africa. Geoffrey Plank underscores how the formative experience of combat brought together widely separated people in a common history.
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- Dylan Becker
A scattered selection of micro-theses
the author seemingly couldn't decide what he wanted to write about and so ended up writing about far too many concepts I superficial terms. most concepts were haphazardly mashed together, without any clear chronology until the last third of the book, making learning from the book unnecessarily difficult and again, superficial. also, only about 1 third of the book is dedicated to oceanic warfare contrary to what one might reasonably expect.
Detailed, But a Bit Aimless
This book had a lot of great details and was obviously researched very well, but it failed to wrap everything up into a single point. That's not a deal killer if you're just looking for lots of very interesting histories, cause this book has them. The book gave a great number of interesting stories about life on the Atlantic during the centuries covered. Would love a followup from the time period after this book to the present day.