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Michael Edwards (Gloucestershire U.K.)
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Empires of the Sea: The Final Battle for the Mediterranean, 1521-1580
Empires of the Sea: The Final Battle for the Mediterranean, 1521-1580
by Roger Crowley
Edition: Hardcover

101 of 103 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars History as it should be written., 5 Jun. 2008
The conflict between Ottoman Turkey and Christian Spain for mastery of the Mediterranean basin had a huge influence on the development of the modern world, yet is probably not something you know very much about, even if you studied history at school. Roger Crowley deals with the key period of this struggle during the 16th Century in a page-turner of a narrative peopled with almost larger-than-life personalities - Suleiman the Magnificent, Bluebeard the Pirate (actually there were father and son Bluebeards) - Andrea Doria, the mercenary Admiral, and a supporting cast of Kings and Popes. What becomes clear is how very close the Ottomans came to extending their Empire into France, Italy and Spain, and how much better organised they were than the European powers who faced them.
The centrepiece of the book is the siege of Malta. The heroism of the defenders would not be believed if it were fiction, and the complex tale is told with exemplary clarity.
You may find parallels in the 21st Century, but Roger Crowley wisely doesn't labour them. Read it twice!
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 26, 2010 10:07 AM GMT


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