Accompanied by an eight-part series, this is the story of Adam Nicolson's adventure in a small boat around the western coast of the British Isles. Early in the year, Adam Nicolson decided to leave his comfy life at home on a Sussex farm and go on an adventure. Equipped with the Auk, a forty-two-foot wooden ketch, and a friend who at least knew how to sail, he set off up the Atlantic coasts of the British Isles: Cornwall to Scilly, over to Pembrokeshire and the west of Ireland, to the Hebrides and its offliers, St Kilda and North Rona, before heading on to Orkney, and finally to the Faroes, a two hundred mile leap out into the autumn winds of the North Atlantic. But the book is not just a travel journal. Adam Nicolson writes of his own yearnings for the sea and for wide open spaces. His year is strung between the competing claims of leaving and belonging, of thinking that no life could be more exhilarating than battling a big gale driving in out of the Atlantic and of wanting to be back, in harbour, safe, still and protected. Running throughout the book is a dialogue within the author himself between the attractions of home and not home, the certainties of what you know and the seductions of what you don't. Reflective and poetic, this book is full of rich experience. It is a story passionately engaged with the beauty and marvels of the wild Atlantic coast, but is also a self-portrait of a man in the middle of his life who is determined to find out what it's all for.
The Atlantic Connection takes up the major themes of Atlantic history focusing on the interconnections of the Atlantic world from 1450-1900. During this period, ships, goods, diseases, human beings and ideas flowed across the ocean, tying together the Atlantic basin in a complex web of relationships. The book is divided into four main sections: Explorations, Colonization and Conquest, The Movement of People and Ideas, and The Age of Ideology. Across these sections the The Atlantic Connection is set out in a broadly chronological way, but also considers key cultural themes such as gender, social developments, the economy, and ideologies as well as:
The role of the Atlantic in ensuring European dominance
The creation of a set of societies with new cultural norms and philosophical ideals that continued to evolve and to transform not only the Atlantic, but the rest of the world; in other words, the importance of the Atlantic in shaping modernity
The contestation over rights and justice that emerged from the Atlantic world, which likewise continues to exist as a significant issue in today's world - as well as some of the solutions to these issues.
The book is also bound together by an essential microhistorical argument that which is important in understanding why Atlantic history took the shape that it did and answering the key question; if European dominance of the Atlantic was not the result of their technological prowess, then how did it come about? Anna Suranyi argues that this occurred partly as a result of Western European geographical orientation toward the ocean, which allowed Western Europeans to take advantage of both Ottoman innovation and their increasing navigational expertise. Once the initial contact had been made, the wealth as well as the cultural challenge emanating from Atlantic helped spur on European developments including the Protestant Reformation, Commercial Revolution, Scientific Revolution, and eventually the Enlightenment, as well as fostering the growth of new societies in the Atlantic, while eventually undermining African development. Together these developments paved the way for European Atlantic supremacy.
The word village has the evocative power of ancient shared social values based on solidarity, equality, and common expectations for the betterment of life. The book's title is borrowed from McLuhan's apt metaphor, but questions its underlying assumptions. The contributors recast some of the basic elements of the complex phenomenon of the so-called globalization. Trade laws, industrial relations, economic and political systems are analyzed in a critical perspective. Moreover, environment and sustainable development, languages' rights, education, mobility and migrations are discussed in view of contemporary changes that societies are undergoing throughout the world. The vulnerability of societies caught up in new networks of interdependence due to reduced distances also are put to the fore, in the context of the new accelerated circulation of information, ideas, goods, and human beings. Provacative reading for scholars interested in a multinational, Euro-Atlanticist perspective on globalization.
The international discourse is most recently focused on some negative outgrowths of world economy, especially after the Seattle Round (December 1999) and its unexpected uprising of protests. The researches of the Center for Euro-Atlantic Studies (University of Genoa), in cooperation with scholars from Europe, Canada and the United States, offer in this collection of essays a multinational contribution which is part of their work in progress on the multifaceted issue of the contemporary global village. The book features some optimistic outcomes, and some worries about what the new millennium will not achieve, despite the common and transnational efforts, that is to say a fair re-distribution of resources to reach what R. W. Fogel defines a post-modern equality, based on values as well as on material wealth. In sum, the essayists wonder if some of the hidden promises of globalization will develop in a better new century.