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The Sea: A Cultural History Paperback – 1 Aug 2013
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"This is the book that I have been waiting for--an anthropologist's exploration of man's engagement with the sea. In this brilliant analysis John Mack shows us that innate inquisitiveness has driven humans to challenge the sea creating one of the great dynamics energizing the human story. "The Sea" is essential reading for all with an interest in the remarkable story of humankind."--Barry Cunliffe
This is the book that I have been waiting for an anthropologist s exploration of man's engagement with the sea. In this brilliant analysis John Mack shows us that innate inquisitiveness has driven humans to challenge the sea creating one of the great dynamics energizing the human story. The Sea is essential reading for all with an interest in the remarkable story of humankind. Barry Cunliffe
"'I am a part of the sea and the sea is part of me, ' muses a Torres Straits elder, and John Mack brings readers to just such recognition of their own places in the world. In his able hands, seas become places and not merely The Great Between. They have their own histories, and demand sophisticated technologies of exploration, exploitation, and intellectual fathoming. Through many years of museum scholarship, Mack has perfected a grand, sweeping vision matched by delight in deepest detail, and here he tells compelling stories about 'ships as societies, ' 'sea gypsies, ' and the hundred named 'seamarks' in open water known to residents of Mabuiag Island. Welcome aboard!" Allen F. Roberts, University of California, Los Angeles
--Allen F. Roberts"
About the Author
John Mack is Professor of World Art Studies at the University of East Anglia.
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17 January 2015
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
As a scholarly researcher interested in human interactions with the sea in various epochs, using various technologies, this book provided a great start. It's exactly what I was looking for for my research. Everytime I thought of an idea or a concept and tried to back it up, all I needed to do was to go back to it. Mack truly tackles the notion of the sea and the ocean in a purely conceptual way, albeit still weaving together the geographical, historical, and thematic aspects that factor into it.
23 September 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
whether you are a writer, a reader, or just someone who enjoys walking along a beach as the tide ebbs out, this is an intriguing and enjoyable book, packed with information and interest.
1 January 2014
I almost gave up on this book at the introduction - felt that I didn't want to re-conceptualise the sea or consider the beach as a liminal space. Perhaps academics forgot just how off-putting such jargon can be. Like any writer they should be encouraged to show and not tell, involve the reader first, then introduce the intellectual spin (if you must). However, once I moved on to the voyages of exploration in chapter one - the spiritually trusting Irish monk and the astounding Polynesians - I was hooked. The explanations that linked ocean currents to ship design then to the potential for discovery were clear and interesting though I'd have loved some maps at this point. Later I was happy to be helped to re-think what a map might be in different cultural contexts and to consider the differences between, say, way-faring and navigation. Much fascinating material and stimulating juxtapositions from around the globe. Some maritime cultures not explored or explored less fully that others but this kept the book to a reasonable length and I felt I had gained a great deal from reading it. Recommended.
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