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The Atlantic - A Book Review

The Atlantic is more than ocean. Throughout history, it helped to shape much of the Western world and was a driving force in the development of the Americas. How much impact did it have? Paul Butel examines this question and more.

First of all, this is a nonfiction book that examines the importance of the Atlantic ocean and the roles it played in shaping Europe, Africa, and the Americas. Mr. Butel gets into extreme detail regarding all the facts including charts for the reader and many statistics to back up his statements. He explores each century and the economic, political, and societal changes brought about by the large ocean.

The successes of many of the wars and economic ventures were determined by the Atlantic Ocean. It opened up new channels to old cultures and to new ones. It helped carry devastation and discoveries. It was a moving mass of memories, power, and dreams.

The book has a notes section as well as a well-developed bibliography. The author, translated by Iain Hamilton Grant, writes in a manner that most of the time is easy to read. If you are not reading this book for research material, sections might become too bogged down in details. Saying that, you’ll find this book to be a great resource for any paper or background research you are performing.

This is a book that any student of European, African, or American history should have and read. The importance of the ocean is rarely if ever disputed. The depths of the importance are rarely thought upon more than a second or two. Mr. Butel helps the reader stop and get a new perspective on the shimming sea that connected the largest land masses on the planet.

You will not find any maps or images. You will find the text broken down into manageable sections that help the reader break and for easy reference after reading. I had to read this book for a class. The heading were extremely helpful in finding the information I needed for my essay.

I highly recommend this book. It is one that students of history will find helpful. It comes as an ebook and as a hard copy. I received my ebook version from my school library. It is easy to follow on the computer. I did have to reread a few passages only because the data was so overwhelming.

Note: This book was purchased by me for a class I attended.

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