|A Path in the Mighty Waters. Shipboard Life and Atlantic Crossings to the New World
|October 8, 2023
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A Path in the Mighty Waters. Shipboard Life and Atlantic Crossings to the New World
A Path in the Mighty Waters: Shipboard Life and Atlantic Crossings to the New World by Stephen R. Berry is a fascinating exploration of the experiences of those who traveled across the Atlantic in search of a new life in America. The book provides a detailed account of what it was like to be a passenger on one of these ships, from the moment they stepped on board to the moment they arrived in the New World.
Berry draws on a wide range of sources to tell this story, including diaries, letters, and ship logs. He provides a vivid description of the conditions on board these ships, including the cramped quarters, the lack of privacy, and the constant motion of the vessel. He also explores the social dynamics of shipboard life, including the relationships between passengers and crew, and the challenges of maintaining order in such a confined space.
One of the most interesting aspects of the book is the way in which Berry shows how shipboard life was both a reflection of the Old World and a precursor to the New. Many of the passengers who traveled to America were seeking religious freedom or economic opportunity, but they brought with them the customs, traditions, and prejudices of their home countries. Berry shows how these passengers adapted to life on board the ship, and how they began to forge a new identity as Americans.
Throughout the book, Berry also explores the role of the ship in the broader history of the New World. He shows how the ship was not just a means of transportation, but also a symbol of the power and ambition of the European nations that were colonizing America. He also explores the ways in which the ship was a source of both hope and despair for those who traveled on it, and how it shaped their perceptions of the New World.
Overall, A Path in the Mighty Waters is a beautifully written and deeply researched book that provides a unique perspective on the history of the New World. It is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of immigration, the history of the Atlantic world, or the history of America itself..