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4.0 out of 5 stars great book; wrong title, 15 Oct. 2008
I've just finished reading this fascinating story of the European drive to own the Spice Islands in the 15 and 1600s - primarily a story of the battle for power there between the English and the Dutch. Nutmeg and mace were highly prized and a boatload of these spices were worth a fortune to the merchants of Amsterdam and London. It's a story well told and well written. I just had trouble with the title as if the whole book would be focussed around Nathaniel Courthope's courage in keeping the Dutch off one of the outermost of the islands, the tiny island of Run. This played only a small part of the story, which also eventually leads to the rivalry between the Dutch and English in the American colonies and the treaty that awarded Manhattan island to the English in exchange for their giving up any claim to the island of Run.

The book covers some of the greatest explorers of those times - Drake,Hudson, Barents - and appears to be very well researched, though not footnoted. Definitely a recommended read to learn of the life and times of these explorers.
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4.0 out of 5 stars History Buff, 30 Oct. 2009
Excellent book. Milton does an easy read packed full of facts and interesting bylines. I love his style because he does not cram the book with boring dates and facts but makes it read like a fantastic novel. Because of this I have gone on to read several of his other books. If only history was taught at school in this fashion - I believe more students would cherish the chance for an understanding of where we are today. I also enjoyed teasing the Dutch about the Manhattan swap....
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