Stuart Schwartz makes his first major foray into environmental history with this 500-year study of Caribbean hurricanes. The results are impressive. Sea of Storms stands as a prime example of the power of an environmental approach to cast new light on long-standing historiographies. As much a social and cultural history as a history of storms, the swirling winds of the hurricane provide the centripetal force necessary for a unified narrative of this complex and varied region.

Schwartz is not the first to place hurricanes at the heart of historical analysis. He builds on Louis Pérez's pioneering Winds of Change: Hurricanes and the Transformation of Nineteenth-Century Cuba (2001) and subsequent efforts focused on the colonial-era British Caribbean (by Matthew Mulcahy) and Spanish Caribbean (by Sherry Johnson). Through meticulous multilingual primary research and synthesis, however, Schwartz offers a truly transnational and comparative account. Sea...

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