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For such a pivotal time in history this seems to be a story that is rarely told, everyone knows about the conquering of the Americas but I had never heard any of the details of the Asian conquest.
Crowley gives a lot of detail some of which is very surprising, the fact that navigating to Asia by both was as difficult and dangerous as the journey to America was a surprise, I had always assumed the boats just hugged the coast the whole way but it turns out they had to be much more daring than that.
There is a lot of detail in this book but it is always kept interesting by the way Crowley fleshes out characters and the sometimes bizarre events and scenes of utter confusion, the idea that the Portuguese though Hindus were a degraded Christian sect is hard to wrap your head around.
It is surprising to think of how much power and wealth Portugal gained in such a small period of time but also strange to think that if they had not brought their anti-Muslim paranoia with them they could have gained even more and held it much longer.
An interesting look into a time that genuinely shaped the world.
Crowley weaves an excitingly engaging narrative in his book that includes more than enough reference material to be thorough and historically accurate, but also forms it into an eminently readable storyline. Many history books you will find yourself bogged down in bibliography, whereas this book feels almost like age of sail prose on occasion.
Gripping, thoroughly enjoyable and tempts with plenty of information on the wider world of the time period. I will be reading his other books on Constantinople, Venice and the wider Mediterranean.
Great book! Very well written and engaging. The timelines are very clear and easy to follow. Great read for anyone looking to learn about the great portuguese influence of the past and its colonies around the world.
This book is eye-opening about so many little known Portuguese conquistadors who fought to build their maritime empire in India and beyond. Although the author is often rather biased in his criticism of the Portuguese, he is vivid in his description of their appalling massacres of local Muslims and the often sadistic destruction they inflicted. Pretty sobering stuff to anyone who believes that empire building is about ‘civilising’. The book rather fizzles our after the death of Albuquerque and explains little about how Portugal was sidelined by other European powers after the 1530s. But overall it’s a great read
Wonderful book although slightly under the quality of the other books I read from Crowley. nevertheless, its a very good book exploring an area not often touched by historians. The chapters on Goa or India in general are wonderfully written and its hard to put the book down.
I love the author's writing style and wishes for more books from him.
A fascinating account of events that have affected how the modern world looks. Most of us are familiar through the Americanisation of history of Pissaro and Cortez etc destroyed the indigenous civilizations of the Americas but the equally ,if not more so ,important characters and events that shaped the Eastern world are largely overlooked. If read in tandem with Rodgerson's ''The Last Crusaders'' you will get a real insight into this neglected subject.