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Author Lincoln Paine talks about Bay Area's role in maritime history of the world

Nellie Large

Seafarers, from fisherman to explorers, have been coming to Bay Area ports for centuries. Maritime historian Lincoln Paine says our relationship with the ocean has been instrumental in shaping not only the history of the Bay Area, but of the entire world. His latest book, Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World, charts 3,500 years of maritime commerce and discovery. KALW's Hana Baba spoke with him about the importance of the sea and its formative role in creating the bustling cities surrounding the Bay.

LINCOLN PAINE: We just aren't as aware of the importance of the maritime trade, commerce, and so on, as we once were, because it's really not visible. It's become removed from the centers of other human activity . . . but if you want to see the results of shipping, just get into a traffic jam. And the 20-foot trailer or the 40-foot trailer is probably a few hours or a few days at the most from the back of a ship.

Click the audio player above to listen to the complete interview.

Hana Baba is host of Crosscurrents, KALW's weeknight newsmagazine that broadcasts on KALW Public Radio in the San Francisco Bay Area.