It's easy to forget the degree to which American exceptionalism casts a shadow over our memories of what we learned on the founding of the British colonies in North America. This book, written with exceptional liveliness for history and cartography, is a sharp reminder how marginal and, let's face it, not that interesting, were the tiny British colonies of seventeenth century North America as the Portuguese, the Dutch and then the English fought global colonial war, mainly in the effort to control the spice trade of the Far East. The great amounts of wealth at stake and the battles accompanying this conquest are well recounted by Burnet along with the fascinatingly cosmopolitan character of the trade with the Arabs, Muslims and others. And certainly there is nothing apologetic about the brutality and enslavement the conquest involved.
Five Stars out of five, from Richard Roberts