Book cover of To Master the Boundless Sea: The U.S. Navy, the Marine Environment, and the Cartography of Empire by Jason W. Smith
History

To Master the Boundless Sea: The U.S. Navy, the Marine Environment, and the Cartography of Empire

As the United States grew into an empire in the late nineteenth century, notions like “sea power” derived not only from fleets, bases, and decisive battles but also from a scientific effort to understand and master the ocean environment. Beginning in the early nineteenth century and concluding in the first years of the twentieth, Jason W. Smith tells the story of the rise of the U.S. Navy and the emergence of American ocean empire through its struggle to control nature. […Learn More]

Book cover of Sailing School: Navigating Science and Skill, 1550-1800 by Margaret E. Schotte
Engineering & Transportation

Sailing School: Navigating Science and Skill, 1550-1800 

Throughout the Age of Exploration, European maritime communities bent on colonial and commercial expansion embraced the complex mechanics of celestial navigation. They developed schools, textbooks, and instruments to teach the new mathematical techniques to sailors. As these experts debated the value of theory and practice, memory and mathematics, they created hybrid models that would have a lasting impact on applied science. […Learn More]

Book cover of The New Map of Empire: How Britain Imagined America before Independence by S. Max Edelson
Colonial Period

The New Map of Empire: How Britain Imagined America before Independence

After the Treaty of Paris ended the Seven Years’ War in 1763, British America stretched from Hudson Bay to the Florida Keys, from the Atlantic coast to the Mississippi River, and across new islands in the West Indies. To better rule these vast dominions, Britain set out to map its new territories with unprecedented rigor and precision. Max Edelson’s The New Map of Empire pictures the contested geography of the British Atlantic world and offers new explanations of the causes and consequences of Britain’s imperial ambitions in the generation before the American Revolution. […Learn More]

Arctic & Antarctica

Floating Coast: An Environmental History of the Bering Strait

A groundbreaking exploration of the relationship between capitalism, communism, and Arctic ecology since the dawn of the industrial age.

Whales and walruses, caribou and fox, gold and oil: through the stories of these animals and resources, Bathsheba Demuth reveals how people have turned ecological wealth in a remote region into economic growth and state power for more than 150 years.  […Learn More]