A magnificently sweeping world history that takes us from the people of Oceania and concludes with the container. In contrast to most books on maritime history, the majority of The Sea and Civilization covers the history of the world before Columbus sailed the ocean blue and at least as much of the narrative focuses on Asia as it does on Europe.Ben Wilson
The Sea and Civilization is, without doubt, the most comprehensive maritime history ever produced... Some of the most exciting history published today is by freelancers like Paine who can ignore the rules of academia
A brilliantly researched and ambitious affirmation of the sea and civilisationPhilip Hoare
A true expert, Paine offers up treats... and drenches his pages with diverse, immersive detailBettany Hughes
The most enjoyable, the most refreshing, the most stimulating, the most comprehensive, the most discerning, the most insightful, the most up-to-date - in short, the best maritime history of the world.Felipe Fernández-Armesto
Elegantly written and encyclopedic in scope, with an expert grasp of the demands of seamanship in every age, The Sea and Civilization deserves a wide readership.
Wall Street Journal
Fascinating and beautifully written . . . Paine steps back from [an] Eurocentric view to tell the story of maritime travel through the entire sweep of human history. . . With its richness of detail, [The Sea and Civilization offers] an eloquent vision of how the sea served as a path to the modern world.