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Posted November 4, 2007
Interesting and sweeping
I picked up this volume after going through an exhibit in a museum in St. Louis, witnessing some of the majestic contributions of the Emperor's era in terms of sculpture, paintings, and dress. Expanding my investigation, I discovered War for All the Oceans and, without reading a page or a review, purchased it. I was not dissapointed. The depth the authors Adkins reach in relating and revealing life in those times is applaudable, as is their skill at telling true stories of those remarkable figures involved. I commend this because it is not hard to attribute to most of these figures an otherworldly quality and reputation. This book presents real people in desperately trying times and conditions, and makes sure that each story is accomplished with detail, but not in a style too clincal. The authors have a genuine love and appreciation of the sea, to say nothing of a sympathy for the seemingly endless plight of the sailors. Every fight, expedition, manuever and gamble is described with the excitement one might expect from a Captain Aubrey or Horatio Hornblower novel, and the informative value of the book is just as great. One minor note, there was a definite sense of rooting on the side of the authors for the British. And while diaries and letters are presented from all sides involved, the authors want you to know that the British were going to win the whole time. Not as though you didn't know.
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Posted September 21, 2010
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