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In this stimulating and authoritative overview, Michael Pearson reverses the traditional angle of maritime history and looks from the sea to its shores - its impact on the land through trade, naval power, travel and scientific exploration. This vast ocean, both connecting and separating nations, has shaped many countries' cultures and ideologies through the movement of goods, people, ideas and religions across the sea.
The Indian Ocean moves from a discussion of physical elements, its shape, winds, currents and boundaries, to a history from pre-Islamic times to the modern period of European dominance. Going far beyond pure maritime history, this compelling survey is an invaluable addition to political, cultural and economic world history.
List of illustrations. Series editor's preface. Preface. Map of the Indian Ocean. Introduction. 1. Deep structure 2. Humans and the sea 3. The beginning of the ocean 4. Muslims in the Indian Ocean 5. Europeans in an Indian Ocean world 6. The early modern Indian Ocean world 7. Britain and the ocean 8. History in the ocean Notes. Select bibliography. Index.
M.N. Pearson is Emeritus Professor at the University of New South Wales, Australia. His previous publications include Port Cities and Intruders: the Swahili Coast, India, and Portugal in the Early Modern Era (1998) and Pious Passengers: theHajjin earlier times (1994).