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To Rule the Waves Audiobook

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

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Publisher's Summary

To Rule the Waves tells the extraordinary story of how the British Royal Navy allowed one nation to rise to a level of power unprecedented in history. From the navy's beginnings under Henry VIII to the age of computer warfare and special ops, historian Arthur Herman tells the spellbinding tale of great battles at sea, heroic sailors, violent conflict, and personal tragedy - of the way one mighty institution forged a nation, an empire, and a new world.

This P.S. edition features extra insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

©2004 Arthur Herman (P)2016 Recorded Books

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (333 )
5 star
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Overall
4.6 (311 )
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Story
4.7 (311 )
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 (59)
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Mrs. 02-16-17
    Mrs. 02-16-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    "Superb and easy to listen to."

    Manages to bridge the gap between heavy intense history and a superb adventure story. One of the best general histories of the Royal Navy I have yet read. Much easier to listen to, and obviously less detailed than Massie's books but also far broader in scope.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Renn G. Neilson 02-15-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    "Better Than Expected. Don't Miss it!"
    What made the experience of listening to To Rule the Waves the most enjoyable?

    Balanced, intelligent, honest;


    What other book might you compare To Rule the Waves to and why?

    There are a host of books on the Royal Navy, some that go into significantly more detail; but the author of this one selects just the right balance of detail to show how the institution developed and what it has done to help create some of the better features of the current global system.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Nelson at Trafalga.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It gave me a more nuanced appreciation of the Royal Navy as an institution.


    Any additional comments?

    I would like to take the author to dinner.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clark Carmel, CA 06-15-17
    Clark Carmel, CA 06-15-17 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Fabulous if you're a nautical junkie. A favorite!"
    What made the experience of listening to To Rule the Waves the most enjoyable?

    The author's absolute familiarity with a huge subject yet never tedious in the details. Riveting, but again, mainly for sailing ship/war/history junkies. Will make you want to read more about Drake, Hawkes, Bing, Nelson.


    What does John Curless bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    It's like he wrote it, with an immense tapestry of interesting detail at his fingertips.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    How Britannia Ruled the Waves. And why Western Civilization owes so much to the Royal Navy.


    Any additional comments?

    Do you have more by this author?

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew 04-26-17
    Andrew 04-26-17 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    "An interesting slightly biased overview narrative"

    The narrative starts with the Elizabethan "navy" of pirates and continues until the Falkland Islands War. The information is generally correct although the author is unambiguously pro-British and pro-navy. This dictates a lot of the material covered with victories covered exhaustively and defeats skated past like the Battle of the Chesapeake.

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elisabeth 02-10-17
    Elisabeth 02-10-17 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Captivating"

    Everything is great about this book. The narrator is excellent but sometimes he trails off at the end of a sentence and you can't quite figure out what the last word is that he said.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M 09-14-17
    M 09-14-17 Member Since 2017
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    53
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    Story
    "Excellent listen!"

    As others have mentioned, the modern history portion is a little skimpy and summarized world war politics a little more than necessary, although some may find that helpful for context. First three quarters of the book are phenomenal!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timothy! 09-05-17
    Timothy! 09-05-17 Member Since 2017
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    3
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    Story
    "The Rise and Fall"

    An entertaining and comprehensive look at the history of the royal navy. Descriptive looks at the people, places, and technologies that shaped the seafaring world. Fantastic non fiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jon Crawfurd ST PETERSBURG, FL USA 09-04-17
    Jon Crawfurd ST PETERSBURG, FL USA 09-04-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Living history"

    I'm a big fan of fiction based on navel wars and adventures, and the British navel tradition is at the center of most of what is written. This book provides the historical background that even the most serious reader may miss. Well rounded, well written, well performed and always engaging. Excellent!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg 09-04-17
    Greg 09-04-17 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    45
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    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting, and full of insights, but also bias."

    Lots of stories and details, but also bias and lack details on the more negative impacts of British Naval policies.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Walker 08-10-17
    J. Walker 08-10-17 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
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    Story
    "A good story."

    Loved the book. A great story well read. A must read for all interested in the British navy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • ashley
    5/4/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Billiant"

    This book was very informative, interesting and well narrated. Made me want to keep listening at every twist and turn. A must read for historians of all types and layman alike

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Miriam Maughan
    3/19/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fabulous book telling a fascinating story"

    Tracing the development of the navy from Tudor privateers to the falklands war this unusual perspective on world history kept me fascinated. Wonderful detail and biographical sketches brings many extraordinary characters to life. I loved it

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Mr T C
    9/8/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Broad in content but with wonderful focus on the key turning points of the RN"

    Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Authur Herman covered the 500+yr history of the Royal Navy in Great detail with enthralling focus on key characters and interesting facts.

    I had google to hand so I could see the ships and men he spoke about.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A. D. Jones
    UK
    7/26/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book. Good detail. A must listen!"

    Loved it. Listened to Thriceab. Fascinating and made me visit Portsmouth docks and the Victory

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Anonymous
    7/12/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I thought i'd like this and boy did i ever."

    as a British patriot who loves hearing about our history, i thought i'd like this. i loved it. i loved the focus on people and places and the well woven historical threds between them. sadly the naration was a bit ropy in places but i got the impression the narrator enjoyed himself and his pride in our heritage seemed obvious. If you've ever seen the documentary series "Empire of the seas" with Dan Snow you'll recognise many of the themes and stories but as that's among my favourite series i think that's no bad thing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Y. Syed
    Somewhere in Internet Land
    5/18/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great piece of history; told very well"

    A very useful and educational piece of history that many more Brits would do well learn.

    Only two problems:
    1. Brushes over British involvement in the Slave Trade with a simple "everyone else was in on it".
    2. It appears to have been recorded off a tape that was chewed up for a half-hour segment of the Armada!

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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