Sea People: In Search of the Ancient Navigators of the Pacific
Christina Thompson, HarperCollins, £9.99
The Harvard editor embarks on an attempt to solve the problem of Polynesian origins and the mystery of their migration patterns. The book ranges from the traditional ways of seeing the ocean to the ‘most extreme example of forest destruction in the Pacific’, but the author’s biggest feat is the salutary reminder that ‘cultures are not static and that there is a logic to their transformations’.
Indo-Pacific Empire: China, America and the Contest for the World’s Pivotal Region
Rory Medcalf, Manchester University Press, £20.00