A. J. R. Russell-Wood, The Portuguese Empire, 1415-1808: A World on the Move (1998)

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

This authoritative book on Europe’s first great overseas empire (which also would be the last to leave its remaining outposts) is eerily timely. Covering the birth, rise, and maintenance of an imperium that stretched from Brazil around Africa, on to India and through the Strait of Malacca to coastal China, it focuses instructively on naval operations in waters as strategically vital today as they were five centuries ago. Until the later arrival of the Dutch and their now-forgotten penchant for massacre, the Portuguese were the champions of the brutal violence that left behind a legacy that still echoes in east-west relations today.


Ralph Peters is the author of thirty-three books, including works on strategy and security affairs, as well as best-selling, prize-winning novels. He has published more than a thousand columns, articles, and essays here and abroad. As a U.S. Army enlisted man and career officer, he served in Infantry and military intelligence units before becoming a foreign area officer for the dying Soviet Union and the new Russia. As a soldier, journalist, and researcher, he has experience in more than seventy countries, covering various wars and trouble spots. His historical fiction won the American Library Association's Boyd Award for Literary Excellence an unprecedented three times and also received the Herodotus Award and the Hammett Prize. Additionally, he was the 2015 recipient of the Goodpaster Award, presented each year to a distinguished American soldier-scholar. In 2017, he was selected for the U.S. Army’s Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame.