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Holy War: How Vasco da Gama's Epic Voyages…
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Holy War: How Vasco da Gama's Epic Voyages Turned the Tide in a… (original 2011; edição 2011)

por Nigel Cliff (Autor)

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235889,547 (3.88)5
A new interpretation of Vasco da Gama's revolutionary voyages, which were seen as a turning point in the struggle between Christianity and Islam, explores the tragic collision of cultures resulting from his journeys to the Indies.
Membro:TheAcorn
Título:Holy War: How Vasco da Gama's Epic Voyages Turned the Tide in a Centuries-Old Clash of Civilizations
Autores:Nigel Cliff (Autor)
Informação:Harper (2011), Edition: Stated First Edition, 560 pages
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Etiquetas:to-read

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The Last Crusade: The Epic Voyages of Vasco da Gama por Nigel Cliff (2011)

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Nigel Cliff did a fantastic job at detailing Vasco da Gama’s life and journeys.
I feel like da Gama is one of the few voyagers and discoverers where we only here the basic details - nothing elaborated - about what exactly he did.
However, in Cliff’s book, we get da Gama’s life, connections, discoveries, and hardships all outlined in a amazingly written book. ( )
  historybookreads | Jul 26, 2021 |
There is a good deal of Naval Warfare in this lively read.
Mr. Cliff is definitely a lively writer, and his book flows well. He strives a bit too hard for the telling phrase, but the story he tells has very sensational elements. Still, after a very lively and simplistic first section on the history of Portugal and the enduring Christendom versus Islam struggle, the rest of the book does try to be even-handed in the description of the expansion of a very minor European power into the dominator of the Indian Ocean. There is considerable exploration of the personality of Vasco Da Gama, and the social systems he encountered both home and abroad. There is not much exploration of the ship's technology, or the navigational technology, as found in a Samuel Eliot Morison book, the focus being on the economic and political side of things.
The image of the India that Da Gama encountered is a trifle sketchy, but the emphasis overall is on the treatment of the crusading ideal, and its place in the mental furniture, of medieval men who came to a very foreign environment. It has been customary in the last couple of generations to downplay the religious elements in the explorative explosion of Iberia, and this is perhaps a necessary corrective. Whether the emphasis is too narrow is a judgment remaining with the reader, of course.
The coverage of the effects of the Portuguese intrusion, both in Africa and in India, is quite informative. Happily, the effect on the Portuguese as a society is detailed and relatively new ground to the English reading public.
The mapping is weak, and a map detailing the political jurisdictions of the Indian area would be a real improvement. The footnoting is adequate. The book reads well, and occupies a useful place on the bookshelf of the student, and will be referred to in any discussion of the period. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Jul 25, 2020 |
A fascinating look at (relatively) recent history and how it shaped the world that exists today; the ascent of Portugal, the question for "Prester John" (the would-be, Indian Christian king), and the "discovery" of India and the Arab trade routes - Cliff covers a lot of ground, and unwittingly poses some amazing counterfactuals. ( )
  A-S | Jan 6, 2019 |
Despite the subtitle (“The Epic Voyages of Vasco da Gama”), he plays a relatively minor part – there just isn’t that much information about him. Instead, this is a workmanlike history of Portuguese exploration in the Indian Ocean. As far as a “crusade” goes, retaking Jerusalem was always presented as one of the motivations, but most of the explorers allowed that getting rich off spices was also doing holy work. The myth of Prester John, the supposed mighty Christian emperor of the east, figured strongly; it was expected that once contacted he would supply the troops to conquer Islam while everybody else stood back and cheered; this led da Gama and other explorers to find Christians even when there weren’t any. In one case that would have been amusing if it hadn’t eventually ended in massacres, Hindu temple statues of multi-limbed and multi-headed goddesses and gods were interpreted as strange local variants of the Virgin and various saints, while chants of “Krishna!” were thought to be the regional pronunciation of “Christ!”.

The East Indians, despite possessing numbers and some firearms, fared almost as poorly opposed to da Gama and subsequent Portuguese as the West Indians did opposed to Columbus and Spanish conquistadores. Eventually, though, the numbers told on the Indian subcontinent, and the Portuguese contented themselves with Goa, a couple of other fortified cities, holdings on the Arabian Peninsula and Indonesia, decent sized chunks of Africa, and, of course, Brazil, which was picked up more or less by accident by an expedition trying to round the Cape of Good Hope.

An easy read; lots of interesting history of a part of the world and time period that were unfamiliar. No foot- or endnotes but page number references; contemporary color illustrations; a good bibliography. ( )
1 vote setnahkt | Feb 19, 2018 |
Clear and readable with scholarly footnotes but a narrative style, this is excellent. The author adds evidence to the clear case that the world map was never a "blank" and describes the interactions between Europe and the "East" (which could be argued to include parts of Africa) that led into the development or European colonialism and the retreat of Islam. Not uncontroversial, but well supported and intriguing. ( )
  kaitanya64 | Jan 3, 2017 |
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The light was fading when the three strange ships appeared off the coast of India, but the fishermen on the shore could still make out their shapes.
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A new interpretation of Vasco da Gama's revolutionary voyages, which were seen as a turning point in the struggle between Christianity and Islam, explores the tragic collision of cultures resulting from his journeys to the Indies.

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