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Extended Audio Sample Empires of the Sea: The Siege of Malta, the Battle of Lepanto, and the Contest for the Center of the World, by Roger Crowley, John Lee Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.5 out of 53.5 out of 53.5 out of 53.5 out of 53.5 out of 5 3.50 (2 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Roger Crowley, John Lee Narrator: John Lee Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In 1521, Suleiman the Magnificent, Muslim ruler of the Ottoman Empire at the height of its power, dispatched an invasion fleet to the Christian island of Rhodes. This would prove to be the opening shot in an epic struggle between rival empires and faiths for control of the Mediterranean and the center of the world.

In Empires of the Sea, acclaimed historian Roger Crowley has written his most mesmerizing work to date–a thrilling account of this brutal decades-long battle between Christendom and Islam for the soul of Europe, a fast-paced tale of spiraling intensity that ranges from Istanbul to the Gates of Gibraltar and features a cast of extraordinary characters. This struggle’s brutal climax came between 1565 and 1571, seven years that witnessed a fight to the finish decided in a series of bloody set pieces: the epic siege of Malta, the savage battle for Cyprus, and the apocalyptic last-ditch defense of southern Europe at Lepanto. Lepanto fixed the frontiers of the Mediterranean world that we know today.

Roger Crowley conjures up a wild cast of pirates, crusaders, and religious warriors struggling for supremacy and survival in a tale of slavery and galley warfare, desperate bravery and utter brutality, technology and Inca gold. Empires of the Sea is page-turning narrative history at its best—a story of extraordinary color and incident, rich in detail, full of surprises, and backed by a wealth of eyewitness accounts. It provides a crucial context for our own clash of civilizations.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Crowley has an astonishing gift for narration; his account is as exciting as any thriller.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Crowley’s page-turner history…deserves to be this [season’s] most recommended nonfiction book…Rich in character, action, surprise, what transpired in those few desperate weeks is one of history’s best and most thrilling stories.”

    Dallas Morning News

  • “A masterly narrative that captures the religious fervor, brutality and mayhem of this intensive contest.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Moonglum | 5/30/2011

    " One of the coolest history books I have read in quite some time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by David | 5/22/2011

    " A wonderfully told piece of history. Gripping, informative and vivid story-telling at its best. It deserved to win "History Book of the Year for 2008" "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by David | 4/23/2011

    " Excellent book. Crowley hid no detail of the brutal fighting that took place. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Scott | 2/26/2011

    " Audiobook narrated by John Lee is outstanding. "

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