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Tide of Empires: Volume One: Decisive Naval Campaigns in the Rise of the West 1481-1654

By Peter Padfield

Tide of Empires: Decisive Naval Campaigns in the Rise of the West Volume I 1481–1654 is the first of a four-volume history of naval warfare.

This volume deals with the period from Venetian sea supremacy and the Portuguese campaigns of discovery to the Dutch conquest of a world-wide maritime empire, and finally the emergence of England as a serious rival to the Dutch.

Padfield discards the glamorous motives traditionally attributed to the naval commanders, explorers, navigators and pioneer adventurers, attributing their motivation instead to wealth and the envy of wealth. This original view produces a stark and challenging interpretation of the rise of the West as a remorseless economic battle for world markets, during which brief intervals of ‘peace’ are determined solely by exhaustion.

Stripped of dogma, national bias and historical legend, this is a radically new view of naval history, written with all the gusto and attention to detail that has established Peter Padfield among the most readable and exciting of naval historians.

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