This month, Yale University Press London staff voted for their favourite book on the theme of ‘The Sea‘. Find out which books they recommended and why.
May’s Staff Pick: A Blue New Deal
A Blue New Deal: Why We Need a New Politics for the Ocean by Chris Armstrong received the most votes from our staff and is this month’s Staff Pick.
An urgent account of the state of our oceans today—and what we must do to protect them
Publicity Manager, Chloe Foster voted for A Blue New Deal because “We’ve all heard of a Green New Deal, but what about a Blue New Deal? Chris Armstrong’s solutions-based manifesto style was really appealing to me. Why should we focus more on how the oceans are governed, and how can this be achieved? His ‘7 point plan’ is clearly laid out into chapters, and his writing is super accessible. How our oceans are governed, or lack therefore, was shocking to me, but the book is ultimately hopeful.”
As a publicist for this book Chloe saw that “Chris’s passion and knowledge of the subject was second to none. All the reviews agreed it’s a super book!”
The book focuses not just on the sea itself but also “people who work on it” and the “marine life that inhabit it.” Chloe definitely echoes the sentiment of everyone who voted for this book. People should read this book because, “how our oceans are managed is essential to its survival – everyone should read it.”
Here are some more recommendations based on the theme ‘The Sea’. They feature deep waters, oceanic art and socio-economic history borne from the sea.
Europe Between the Oceans: 9000 BC-AD 1000 by Barry Cunliffe
A sensational, interdisciplinary work which entirely reorients our understanding of Europe from 10,000 BC to the time of the Vikings
Managing Director and Publisher, Heather McCallum voted for Europe Between the Oceans because “Cunliffe’s magisterial overview of prehistoric and early Europe is driven by ocean history. Europe is vast and varied land mass which faces many seas and is crossed by many rivers. These enable in diverse and remarkable ways contact, communication and exchange. The many maps and illustrations illuminate the early travel routes which were so determinant.”
On her experience of working with the author, Heather said, “Barry Cunliffe is one of the foremost archaeologists of our time and it was a great pleasure to work with him on the development of the book from an editorial perspective.”
She strongly recommends this book as “It’s an absolutely fascinating and hugely ambitious account (10,000 years!) which turns on its head the conventional history of Europe by focusing on sea travel. We learn about ships, boats, carts and horses of course but also what they carried from Uppsala to Troy, from Cadiz to the Baltic, ancient paths criss crossing the peninsular. The book brings the period to life through numerous everyday and rich artefacts.”
The Seas and the Mobility of Islamic Art by Radha Dalal
Tracing the currents of change that unite the visual and material culture of the Islamic world across space and time
This remarkable new book brings together an international group of scholars and curators whose contributions address seafaring mobility’s profound effect on Islamic art. Their case studies range across the globe and span a period from Islam’s 1st century to today. Contributors examine the roles of importation and migration, travel, diplomacy, and gift giving in driving artistic innovation and changing the social, political, and religious institutions of an increasingly diverse Islamic world.