The Boundless Sea: A Human History of the Oceans

by David Abulafia

Hardcover, 2019



Call number



Allen Lane (2019), Edition: 01, 1088 pages


"David Abulafia's new book guides readers along the world's greatest bodies of water to reveal their primary role in human history. The main protagonists are the three major oceans-the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Indian-which together comprise the majority of the earth's water and cover over half of its surface. Over time, as passage through them gradually extended and expanded, linking first islands and then continents, maritime networks developed, evolving from local exploration to lines of regional communication and commerce and eventually to major arteries. These waterways carried goods, plants, livestock, and of course people-free and enslaved-across vast expanses, transforming and ultimately linking irrevocably the economies and cultures of Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Americas"--… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member expatscot
Very good and thought provoking history of trade over and around the world's oceans. Abulafia strays a little from the coast on occasion, but with reason and one can see the usual sort of threads he disappears along in the same way as everyone else who writes these sorts of books seems to. Overall a really good read.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

1088 p.; 6.38 inches


1846145082 / 9781846145087
Page: 0.1435 seconds