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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece
When Abulafia's book on the Mediterranean made headlines all over the internet some year ago, one could not but deplore the fact that Horden's and Purcell's considerably greater and more analytic achievement on the same subject came out just twelve years ago at a time when (as if this was now a distant past only preserved in the minds of the old) information travelled...
Published on 11 Jun 2012 by Pythagoras

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4 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars boring boring boring
Unbearably long and tedious with some not well thought-out comments, which made me think the authors didnt really know what they were talking about (for example describing Italy's coastline)
Published on 27 Feb 2009 by F. S. Carr


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece, 11 Jun 2012
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This review is from: The Corrupting Sea: A Study of Mediterranean History (Paperback)
When Abulafia's book on the Mediterranean made headlines all over the internet some year ago, one could not but deplore the fact that Horden's and Purcell's considerably greater and more analytic achievement on the same subject came out just twelve years ago at a time when (as if this was now a distant past only preserved in the minds of the old) information travelled slightly slower, soon to be forgotten under the spring flood of information in the 2000's. For this is it - the truest "sequel" to Braudel's groundbreaking work and on the same time the first thorough effort to critically analyze its underlying ideas, to deepen and widen the scope of historical material and to use a more differentiated methodological approach. It might not be a suitable entertainment to the reader who simply wrote "Boring!" in his review here on Amazon, but for any historian - social, cultural, economical - or layman sincerely interested in the Mediterranean, Europe, the Middle East, their shared past and spaces, and the complex identities of people united by their differences, this book remains a must.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mediterranean microecological connectivity, 2 Dec 2002
By 
Cesar Gonzalez Rouco (Madrid, Madrid Spain) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Corrupting Sea: A Study of Mediterranean History (Paperback)
I like reading history. I enjoy with it. I am not a professional historian. In the last few years I have tried and read books offering a broad scope and general overviews of history such as this one.

In this work, the authors intend to study Mediterranean history as a whole, the history of the region. For them, the Mediterranean is only loosely defined, distinguishable from its neighbours to degrees that vary with time, geographical direction and topic. Its boundaries are not the sort to be drawn easily on a map. Its continuities are best thought of continuities of form or pattern, within which all is mutability.
In that sense, the distinctiveness of Mediterranean history results (they propose) from the paradoxical coexistence of a milieu of relatively easy seaborne communications with a quite unusually fragmented topography of microregions in the sea’s coastlands and islands. The different chapters of the book are aimed to impressionistically show some of the prime ingredients in the normal variability and connectivity of Mediterranean microregions: the shifting along a spectrum of possibilities; the fluctuating relations between pastoralism and agriculture; the manipulative state with its taxes and symbols; the mobility of people both voluntarily –economic migration- and compulsory –military service- (not necessarily very distinct); a history of Mediterranean redistribution as inseparable from that of the people (who are often profoundly mobile) who produce, store, process, transport and consume.
The authors also warn that several central topics have been reserved for a Volume 2 to come in the future: climate, disease, demography and the relations between the Mediterranean and other major areas of the globe.
I have rated it four starts. Considering its content, I think it should be five; considering its readability, three (sometimes falling to two, sometimes raising to four).
Other books of “global history” I would recommend to read are "The Rise of the West" by William H. McNeill, "World History. A new perspective" by Clive Ponting, "The Great Divergence", by Kenneth Pomeranz, "The Dynamics of Global Dominance. European Overseas Empires 1415-1980", by David Abernethy and "The History of Government", by S.E. Finer.
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4 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars boring boring boring, 27 Feb 2009
By 
F. S. Carr "stingray196" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Corrupting Sea: A Study of Mediterranean History (Paperback)
Unbearably long and tedious with some not well thought-out comments, which made me think the authors didnt really know what they were talking about (for example describing Italy's coastline)
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The Corrupting Sea: A Study of Mediterranean History
The Corrupting Sea: A Study of Mediterranean History by Nicholas Purcell (Paperback - 14 Jan 2000)
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