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Blue-Water Empire: The British in the Mediterranean since 1800 [Tapa dura]

Robert Holland


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Robert Holland's masterly history of the Mediterranean is a pleasure to read. Blue-Water Empire shows how Britain's mastery of the Middle Sea shaped the modern world, whilst reminding us how profoundly the Mediterranean has influenced the British (Simon Ball (Author Of The Bitter Sea: The Struggle For Mastery In The Mediterranean, 1935-1949))

[A] rich and readable account of the British in the Middle Sea ... As Holland's learned, lucid and enjoyable work makes clear, many British politicians saw the Mediterranean as the pre-eminent global strategic arena, representing the key to victory in Europe and Asia (Dominic Sandbrook Sunday Times)

Blue-Water Empire is an important corrective to current historical amnesia ... it will remain the definitive account of Anglo-Mediterranean history for years to come (Amanda Foreman New Statesman)

Lively and absorbing ... original (Philip Mansel Spectator)

This is an important subject, and it has never before been drawn together into a single coherent narrative ... Blue-Water Empire puts the land, not the sea, at the heart of the story (Literary Review)

Reseña del editor

Blue-Water Empire is Robert Holland's magnificent narrative of Britain's military and cultural ties with the Mediterranean Sea, in the style of the epic naval histories of N. A. M. Rodger.

Britain has been a major presence in the Mediterranean from the Battle of the Nile to the end of empire, as both a military and a colonising force on the islands and coastlines of the sea. Robert Holland traces the fascinating story of that presence, from its legacies in culture, language and law to the Mediterranean's own influence on Britain.

Evoking the conflicts and contrasts between British and local societies caught up in dramatic events, as well as their mutual resilience under pressure, Blue Water Empire charts with vigour, flair and clarity the British experience in the Mediterranean in the age of empire.

Reviews:

'An important corrective to current historical amnesia ... the definitive account of Anglo-Mediterranean history for years to come' Amanda Foreman, New Statesman

'A rich and readable account of the British in the Middle Sea ... As Holland's learned, lucid and enjoyable work makes clear, many British politicians saw the Mediterranean as the pre-eminent global strategic arena, representing the key to victory in Europe and Asia' Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times

'This is an important subject, and it has never before been drawn together into a single coherent narrative ... Blue-Water Empire puts the land, not the sea, at the heart of the story' Literary Review

'Robert Holland's masterly history of the Mediterranean is a pleasure to read. Blue-Water Empire shows how Britain's mastery of the Middle Sea shaped the modern world, whilst reminding us how profoundly the Mediterranean has influenced the British' Simon Ball (author of The Bitter Sea: The Struggle for Mastery in the Mediterranean, 1935-1949)

'Lively and absorbing' Philip Mansel, Spectator

About the author:

Robert Holland is one of the world's leading historians of the Mediterranean and the author of Britain and the Revolt in Cyprus, 1954-59, and (with Diana Markides) The British and the Hellenes: Struggles for Mastery in the Eastern Mediterranean, 1850-1960. He holds professorial positions at the Centre for Hellenic Studies in King's College London and the Institute of Commonwealth Studies in the same University.


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Amazon.com: 5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas  2 opiniones
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5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Unexpected and fascinating 21 de febrero de 2012
Por Nicholas Walton - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato:Tapa dura
I read this book in preparation for an interview with the author for the New Books Network. I had never really thought too much about the subject, as I always thought of the British empire as more of an open-ocean business. However, I was wrong to dismiss it.

Here is the blog post that I wrote to go with the podcast interview:

I have always found something distinctly `un-British' about the Mediterranean. I grew up thinking of the British empire - and British spirit - as being founded upon the open ocean: unconfined, stormy and there to be mastered. A route to the rest of the world and limitless opportunity. The Mediterranean, by contrast, always seemed a bit limp. It had no tides; its main purpose was as a tourist destination; it was (at least on its northern shore) very European in a way that Britain was not. It seemed as cramped as an Italian tourist beach in autumn.

But I was very, very wrong.

That is why reading Robert Holland`s excellent book Blue Water Empire: the British in the Mediterranean since 1800 (Penguin, 2012)was such an eye opener to me. British history has been intimately bound up with the Med, and not just through the odd colonial oddity like Gibraltar or Malta, or through the search for a viable theatre in the Second World War. As Holland argues, it is the British that made the Med into something of a region, rather than a collection of regions. It was where Britain confronted Napoleon, and - many years later - where they found an outlet to take the war to Hitler.

In between, and indeed after, it was a key area for British interests, and a place where British influence was great. You can see the results in modern day Palestine, in Greece, in Egypt. Holland is also particularly good at explaining the history of places such as Cyprus, Corfu, Malta and Gibraltar, where the British empire was a key factor in daily life and nation building.

Near the end of the interview we also touch on the Mediterranean of today, and Robert Holland speaks movingly about the current economic crisis and its impact. He keenly regrets the inability of the states of the Mediterranean to see themselves as neighbours within a region, and the loss of a true pan-Mediterranean identity.

I was wrong about Britain and its relationship to this crucial region, and that's why I both enjoyed reading the book and talking to the author. I hope you enjoy listening just as much.
5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas A profitable read 20 de diciembre de 2012
Por Donald P Brady - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato:Versión Kindle|Compra verificada por Amazon
Blue Water Empire offers a profitable read that shines light into otherwise obscure corners of European history. A relaxed and pleasant jaunt through the 19th and 20th century Mediterranean.
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