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historical framework that few authors have attempted. As he points out, there have been several works related to the Gulf of Mexico, but many focus on environmental issues or have a much narrower focus. Sledge’s book, however, encompasses broad topics concerning the Gulf, while never losing sight of the human element. Creating a comprehensive yet readable book on broad topics associated with the human history of the Gulf of Mexico is no easy task. The body of water touches the shores of several nations and has a human history that stretches back hundreds of years. At any given time, the Gulf of Mexico represented contested lands, freedom and enslavement of people, and the opportunity for trade and commerce. In trying to understand this body of water, Sledge divided the Gulf ’s history into various chapters that are both thematic and chronological. His first chapter, “Indian Shore,” looks at Native American contact with Spanish explorers. From there he moves on to discuss Spanish exploration and settlement, other European inroads, and piracy. Remaining chapters continue with themes of trade, military involvement, and eventually more modern topics such as commercial fishing and oil exploration. I would recommend this book to readers looking for an introduction to the region without having to commit to an overly large and dense history of the area. Sledge’s research is comprehensive and is based on a variety of resources, but he does not overload the reader with too much information. There are no major surprises or new information that cannot be found elsewhere, but I do not think his intent was to rewrite the history of the Gulf. Rather, he provides a solid overview of the maritime history of the waters within and the territory surrounding the Gulf. The Gulf of Mexico: A Maritime History is a welcome addition to the body of research regarding the earth’s tenth largest body of water. Sledge’s effort opens the door for future scholars and is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to conduct research in or around the Gulf. He ties together several historical elements that reveal the varied and complex history that is the Gulf of Mexico. Amy Mitchell Cook Pensacola, Florida

Ocean Sailing: The Offshore Cruising Experience with Real-life Practical Advice by Paul Heiney (Adlard Coles, New York, 2019, 288pp, illus, biblio, index, isbn 978-1-47295-539-5; $35hc) by Kurt D. Voss Our love affair with the sea and the All proceeds from this pictorial history mystery held just beyond the horizon has benefit the ELISSA preservation fund. inspired countless numbers to surrender their worldly possessions, take command of a vessel, and venture to find out what lay out of sight and mind. Since Joshua Slocum and his refitted Spray departed Boston on the morning of 24 April 1895, the notion of voyaging—not for commerce but for pleasure—has taken hold of many an armchair sailor and coastal cruiser alike. A would-be voyager could spend several lifetimes on web searches alone for The Glencannon Press recommended reading, be it the highly 4 col. (2.25 technical, like the manyinches works of Nigelx 4.5 inches) Prefer storytelling right handsuch page, bottom Calder, or the anecdotal Publishedright. by Arcadia Publishing and Galveston Historical Foundation as Slocum’s Sailing Alone Around the $21.99. 128 pages, 200 photographs World. Enter into this paper (or digital) Autographed copies available at maelstrom Ocean Sailing: The Offshore (409) 763-1877, or online at: Cruising Experience with Real-Life Practical Advice. While clearly written from the w w w. t s m - e l i s s a . o r g perspective of those who fly the Blue Ensign, Ocean Sailing has a universal accessibility, and readers on this side of the pond THE GLENCANNON should not be dissuaded. The author does PRESS an admirable job of blending valuable technical advice with the comforting tone of a Maritime Books trusted mentor: encouraging and supportive, but never dismissive of the seriousness that planning an offshore voyage entails. The book weaves its way through topNEW! ics ranging from weather routing to boat The Ferryboat Berkeley selection, with particular attention given by to two subjects that are worth highlighting: Patricia Shannon Anderson the financials of world voyaging on a variety of budgets, and examining whether or not to cruise with children. The complete history of this One thing which sets Ocean Sailing historic craft now located at apart from many other similar books on the Maritime Museum of San the subject is the author’s frequent incluDiego. More than 200 pages, sion of substantive contributions from 29 in full color. world voyagers who have their own perspectives to share. Some of this advice, Available May 1, 2020. while personally put to the test by the contributors, runs counter to what is often FREE Catalog 1-510-455-9027 shared as best practices in the world of Online at mariner training, both at the professional as well as recreational level. As one glaring example, one contributor suggests cruisers stow liferafts below decks. That said, the