Arthur Herman

To Rule the Waves: How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World

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The 600+ pages of this excellent British maritime history, rather than just British navy history, covers the facets of the relationship of Britain with her neighbor the sea. It's a story basically of ships and the men who sailed on them. The narrative style in which the myriad of voyages are recalled gives a sense of continuity to the book, a good thing when so many stories are told along such a broad chronological frame. So there is no discontinuity. It must have taken a heroic effort to summarize so many stories of voyages, piracy, discoveries, naval battles, trading enterprises, and even mutinies and such, without getting entangled in the detail, and moving on fluently while conveying a general picture of the times as they changed in so many areas of the world, politically and economically. The ambition of the book is colossal, in view of the times covered, from the discovery of America to late 20th century; the diverse geographical areas of the world concerned with the stories, due to contact with the British Empire; the myriad of elements that made their influence felt on the outcome of the stories: new weapons, love affairs, national characters, sheer luck... Mr. Herman has an encyclopedic knowledge of all things maritime.

The greatest merit of the book is simply not being boring when, by the sheer scope and magnitude of its subject, it should logically have been so. The reason why I am not giving it 5 stars is only that I personally could not get myself interested enough in some passages.


"Es cierto que el Romano es libre de hacer todo lo que quiera. Pero también lo es que tiene que soportar las consecuencias de sus actos. No importa que se haya equivocado, que le hayan engañado o incluso forzado: un hombre no se deja forzar: etiamsi coactus, attamen voluit. Es libre; pero si distraído, imprudente o atontado, prometió pagar una determinada cantidad y no puede pagarla, se convierte en esclavo de su acreedor."

Rudolph von Ihering

“Slavery, protection, and monopoly find defenders, not only in those who profit by them, but in those who suffer by them.”

Frédéric Bastiat

On the true nature of the Castro Revolution in Cuba: "The revolution was a cover for committing atrocities without the slightest vestige of guilt ... we were young and irresponsible. We were pirates. We formed our own caste ... we belonged to and believed in nothing -no religion, no flag, no morality or principle. It's fortunate we didn't win, because if we had, we would have drowned the continent in barbarism."

Jorge Masetti -In the Pirate's Den

La anarquía, es decir, la ausencia de fuerza estatal, no es una forma de Estado, y cualquiera que acabe con ella por el medio que sea, el usurpador nacional o el conquistador extranjero, rinde un servicio a la sociedad. Es un salvador, un bienhechor, porque la forma más insoportable de Estado es la ausencia de Estado.


Rudolph von Ihering

"El envidioso está afligido no solo por sus males propios, sino por los bienes de los demás."  -Hipias

[la norma de conducta de los progres] "No hacer nada que alguien pueda envidiarme." -Hipasos

NINOTCHKA,

O EL DISCRETO DESENCANTO CON EL SOCIALISMO 

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Seguimos a la espera de la reedición de este importante libro del gran escritor español José Pla

Historia de la Segunda República.

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También a la espera de este importante libro del genial Rafael Abella.

Finales de enero, 1939, Barcelona cambia de piel

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