or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Trade in Yours
For a 3.52 Gift Card
Trade in
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Colour:
Image not available

 
Tell the Publisher!
Id like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Empires of the Monsoon [Paperback]

Richard Hall
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: 16.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 4 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it tomorrow, 31 Aug.? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover --  
Paperback 16.99  
Trade In this Item for up to 3.52
Trade in Empires of the Monsoon for an Amazon Gift Card of up to 3.52, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Book Description

4 Oct 2010

‘A triumph: a first class comprehensive narrative of the impact upon the people of the Indian Ocean of those who penetrated it. It is hard to believe that this account of a European epic has any rival.’ J.M. ROBERTS, author of the Penguin History of the World

Until Vasco da Gama discovered the sea-route to the East in 1497-9 almost nothing was known in the West of the exotic cultures and wealth of the Indian Ocean and its peoples. It is this civilisation and its destruction at the hands of the West that Richard Hall recreates in this book. Hall’s history of the exploration and exploitation – by Chinese and Arab travellers, and by the Portuguese, Dutch and British alike – is one of brutality, betrayal and colonial ambition. It is history told with the true gift of a storyteller and a keen eye for the exotic. It is a compelling and instructive epic.


Frequently Bought Together

Empires of the Monsoon + The Scramble For Africa
Buy the selected items together
  • The Scramble For Africa 14.55


Product details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New Ed edition (4 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006380832
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006380832
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 13 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 206,864 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

‘Empires of the Monsoon is a panoramic study of the history of the Indian Ocean and the destruction of its traditional trade by colonial Europe… Its major achievement is to weave into a coherent whole the histories of a kaleidoscope of civilisations and peoples… Empires of the Monsoon reads like some mediaeval Book of Wonders, rich with exotic improbabilities… . It is all gripping stuff, dizzily ambitious in its scope and full of some of the oddest facts imaginable.’
William Dalrymple, Independent

‘Empires of the Monsoon is an example of popular history at its best… It is the story of many marvels and many great adventures.’
J.D.F. Jones, Financial Times

‘A panoramic account of the Indian Ocean and its invaders… combining scholarly zeal with a good journalist’s flair for selection and narrative. The book is full of fascinating information.’
John Grigg, Sunday Telegraph

‘Hall’s lively compendium is rich in bloodthirsty sultans, swashbuckling pirates, hypocritical imperialists and serendipitous Sinbads… He is an enthusiastic storyteller who can hold you with his glittering eye.’
Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Sunday Times

‘A vast and fascinating history… I found it both absorbing and instructive.’
Robert Carver, Scotsman

From the Back Cover

Until Vasco da Gama discovered the sea-route to the East in 1497-9 almost nothing was known in the West of the exotic cultures and wealth of the Indian Ocean and its peoples: a 16-million-square-mile sea, bordered by civilisations more ancient than those of Greece and Rome, fed by the Indus, Euphrates and many of the world's greatest rivers. For almost a thousand years after the fall of the Roman empire, the western littoral of the Indian Ocean was as much an entity as the Mediterranean, surpassing it in wealth and power. The arts and scholarship flourished in cities to which merchants travelled from all corners of the East to trade in gold, ambergris, leopard skins, ivory and slaves.

It is this civilisation, and its destruction at the hands of the West, that Richard Hall, one of Britain's finest popular historians and writers on travel and exploration, recreates in this sparkling book. 'Empires of the Monsoon' combines historical analysis with an exciting narrative to show how, from the sixteenth century onwards, the European presence changed the life of the Indian Ocean irrevocably. Then with the insight derived from his many years in Africa, Hall charts the liberation of Africa south of the equator the mid-nineteenth century – first from isolation, and then from a colonialism which, although short-lived, seemed at one point to have forged unbreakable bonds between Africa and Europe.

Hall's history of exploration and exploitation – by Chinese and Arab travellers and the Portuguese, Dutch and British alike – is one of brutality, betrayal and colonial ambition. It is told with an eye for the exotic in a fine, unobtrusive style. It is a compelling and instructive epic.

Richard Hall has travelled throughout the Indian Ocean region as an historical writer and journalist. Born in 1925, he spent part of his boyhood in Australia, was educated at Hastings Grammar School, served in a destroyer in the Royal Navy, then went to Oxford University. After working in London on the 'Daily Mail', he lived for thirteen years in Africa where he was editor of the 'Times of Zambia'. He later became the Commonwealth correspondent of the 'Observer', and a columnist on the 'Financial Times'. In 1986, he founded the financial and political bulletin 'Africa Analysis'. He has written biographies of the Victorian explores Sam and Florence Baker and Henry Stanley, and of the modern merchant – adventurer Tiny Rowland. He lives in Oxfordshire.

"A triumph: a first class comprehensive narrative of the impact upon the people of the Indian Ocean of those who penetrated it. It is hard to believe that this account of a European epic has any rival."
J. M. ROBERTS, author of the 'Penguin History of the World'

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A vastly enjoyable narrative history. 3 Nov 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is a well-written, easily-read narrative history covering a huge sweep both historically and geographically. Its three-part division is natural and logical. The first section provides an overview of the various cultures and civilisations bordering the Indian Ocean in the centuries prior to European penetration. The topics covered are as diverse as the settlement of Madagascar from the Indonesian Archipelago, the extension of an Arab trading network down the East-African Coast, the brief but large-scale series of Chinese naval expeditions in the thirteenth and fourteen centuries and the rise of Great Zimbabwe. The heart of the book is the second section, dealing with the epic, bloody and audacious incursion by Western Europeans, led by the Portuguese. This story is dominated by two themes: the crushing superiority afforded by judicious use of what was then white-hot technology - the ship-mounted cannon - and the effective employment of terror as a deliberate weapon by the Portuguese when faced with otherwise impossible odds. Nobody comes with much credit from the grim catalogue of mass-murder, torture and mutilation that provides a sub-text to the creation of the ramshackle Portuguese trading empire which managed, somehow, to persist into living memory. The last part of the book is the weakest, attempting too much as it sketches later developments along the East-African coast up to our own day. The writer would perhaps have been better advised to keep his material for this section for another book - there is certainly enough, and more, for one. The greatest strength of Richard Hall's book is that it rescues from obscurity so many otherwise forgotten, and often bizarre and unlikely episodes. Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent history and exceptionally readable ! 12 Dec 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
History books after often dry and dull, right ? Yes, well that's my experience anyway. This book definitely breaks this mould and manages to be both factual and entertaining.
Full of fascinating accounts ( E.g. The Chinese ventures to East Africa in the fifteenth century, The fabled Christian kingdom of Preston John and its reality in Ethiopia, the landing of Vasco Da Gama at Calicut in West India and his meeting with the Hindu Zamorin ), this book is mostly about the Christian ( and other ) invaders of the Indian Ocean. I read this 500 page book in under a week and found it to be highly rewarding.
This book is highly recommended and gets a 12/10
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Go on, don't hesitate, buy this book now! 28 Aug 2000
Format:Paperback
An astonishingly comprehensive yet satisfyingly detailed historical account of trade, politics and imperialism. Cracks along at an engrossing pace coupled with not inconsiderable narrative breadth, wit and flair. Informative and hugely entertaining.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will Sweep You Along! 29 Jan 2000
Format:Paperback
I was lucky to pick up this book by chance in a wonderful bookshop in Ottawa,Canada. I had never heard of this book or the author and was just browsing. It was a great find! Mr. Hall has done a prodigious amount of research but this book is the opposite of stuffy and pedantic. It is a tribute to Mr. Hall that even after 500 pages you will be sorry that you have finished. He leaves you wanting more and fortunately he gives you a very nice bibliography which will allow you to satisfy your curiousity. This book moves along at a breakneck pace and sweeps you along from place to place all along the coasts of East Africa and the Horn Of Africa up into the Persian Gulf and along the west coast of India. A few early chapters even take you over to China and Indonesia. There are enough interesting characters to populate a novel by Tolstoy and you will learn a lot of interesting and horrible things that they never taught you about in school. What was done in the name of religion by both Christians and Muslims is very sad. An educated person might not be surprised by the fact of man's inhumanity but I guarantee you will be surprised by the quantity and nature of what went on, and by the sheer joie de vivre of some of these folks! To give you only one "small" example, Vasco da Gama (who was held up to me in school as being a "great explorer") once won a small battle off of the coast of India and when he took some of his foes captive he cut off their ears,noses and hands and then put them all on a ship and set the ship ablaze. When the fire was over not everyone was dead so he took the survivors and had them hoisted up on the masts of one of his own ships and let his archers have some target practice... This book is full of adventure,greed,hypocrisy and self-delusion. In other words, it is a wonderful mirror held up to life. Enjoy!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category


Feedback