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Empire of Blue Water: Henry Morgan and the Pirates Who Rules the Caribbean Waves [Paperback]

Stephan Talty
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Aug 2008
Henry Morgan, a twenty-year-old Welshman, arrived in the New World in 1655, hell-bent on making his fortune. Over the next three decades, his exploits in the Caribbean in the service of the English became legend. His daring attacks on the mighty Spanish Empire on land and sea changed the fates of kings and queens. His victories helped shape the destiny of the New World. Morgan gathered disaffected English and European sailors and soldiers, hard-bitten adventurers, runaway slaves, cutthroats and sociopaths and turned them into the fiercest and most feared army in the Western Hemisphere. Sailing out from the English stronghold of Port Royal, Jamaica, 'the wickedest city in the New World', Morgan and his men terrorised Spanish merchant ships and devastated the cities where great riches in silver, gold, and gems lay waiting to be sent to the King of Spain. His last raid, a daring assault on the fabled city of Panama, helped break Spain's solitary hold on the New World for ever.Awash with bloody battles, political intrigues, and a cast of characters more compelling, bizarre and memorable than any found in a Hollywood swashbuckler, EMPIRE OF BLUE WATER brilliantly re-creates the passions and the violence of the age of exploration and empire. What's more, it chillingly depicts the apocalyptic natural disaster that finally ended the pirates' dominion.

Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (1 Aug 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416502939
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416502937
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 435,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"Talty's vigorous history of seventeenth-century pirates of the Caribbean will sate even fickle Jack Sparrow fans. . . . A pleasure to read from bow to stern." --Entertainment Weekly "A swashbuckling adventure . . . [the] characters leap to life." --"New York Times" Book Review "A ripping yarn, worthy of its gaudy subject."--"Dallas Morning News" "A sparkling and engrossing adventure narrative."--"Boston Phoenix" "Fresh insight into pirates' dens of old . . . Well-researched nonfiction that reads like a novel." --"Washington Times" "Swashbuckling history at its bloody, blood-soaked best, and a mirror to our own times."--Tom Reiss, author of "The Orientalist" "Morgan proves an irresistible hero. A thrilling and fascinating adventure."--Caroline Alexander, author of "The Endurance" and "The Bounty ""Rollicking . . . with style and energy Talty tells a tale of boundless wickedness." --William M. Fowler, author of "Empires at War" Reeking of authentic blood and thunder, and as richly detailed as a work of fiction, "Empire of Blue Water" dramatically evokes the rough-and-tumble age when pirates owned the seas. In Stephan Talty's hands, the brilliant Captain Morgan, wicked and cutthroat though he was, proves an irresistible hero. A thrilling and fascinating adventure."--Caroline Alexander, author of "The Endurance and The Bounty" "Stephan Talty's new book serves up swashbuckling history at its briny, blood-soaked best, with enough violence and passion to keep the pages flying by. But it's not only blood and swash: "Empire of Blue Water" is also a mirror to our own times, showing that attempting globalization againsta backdrop of the clash of civilizations is nothing new, and that religious violence is often a thinly veiled cover for greed and personal ambition. Talty's portrait of the legendary privateer Henry Morgan is a marvelous study in contradictions--a man of astounding heroism, brilliance, compassion, and charm, who was also capable of the greatest betrayal."--Tom Reiss, author of "The Orientalist" "A wickedly entertaining tale of pirates and the Caribbean seas they once ruled like kings. Epic sea battles, daring adventures, rich history, great villains and heroes alike--it's a treasure."--Neal Bascomb, author of "The Perfect Mile and Higher" "In a riveting history that reads like the best novels, Stephan Talty stylishly extricates the pirates of the Caribbean from the imprecise caricature that so often consumes them. Layer by fascinating layer, Talty peels away the eye patch and theshiver-me-timbers brogue to reveal the raucous, complex and authentic buccaneers of the "Brethren of the Coast." . . . Storytelling and history to be savored."--Buddy Levy, author of "American Legend: The Real-Life Adventures of David Crockett" "Engrossing . . . a swashbuckling tale of how the history of the Americas was shaped by a small group of daring brigands." --Matthew Brzezinski, author of "Casino Moscow""A fascinating look inside [a] glamorous and gritty world." --Les Standiford, author of "Last Train to Paradise" "Exceptionally well-told . . . an exhilarating adventure in reading." --Kerry A. Trask, author of "Black Hawk" "From the Hardcover edition."

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Empire of Blue Water 7 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a really good read and kept me very interested with the life and death of Henry Morgan. I was amaazed to read how much money was involved in their daring raids and how ships were financed.
I would definatley recommend this as a read, although i am no historian and cannot confirm how close to the truth this is, I have found it interesting enough to buy more books in this subject area.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Empire of Blue Water 9 May 2013
A very interesting read that takes into account the political situation at the time as well as the factors that drove these men and women to live the life they led. Definately not Johnny Depp pirates of the carribean.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Short on Research 14 Nov 2007
The words buccaneer and pirate have long been synonymous, but in reality the former were more than mere criminals, having profound implications for the history of empire. In attacking the Spanish in the Americas they helped to establish, and then defend fledgling Dutch, French and English empires in the Caribbean. And without doubt, the most successful and famous of all the buccaneers was Henry Morgan. It would be nice to report that this book sheds new light on Morgan's career, but alas there's nothing new here, as evidenced by extremely ragged endnotes that include large gaps, rendering it of little value as a piece of scholarship; but it was written by a journalist in a journalistic style, and this may well not worry potential readers looking for tales of swashbuckling derring-do! It certainly rattles along.

Practically nothing is known about Morgan's early life and he probably arrived in the West Indies as a soldier involved in the `Western Design', Oliver Cromwell's ambitious scheme to conquer the Greater Antilles. Here, the motive given for the scheme is entirely religious, prompted by the renegade priest Thomas Gage. But while Gage was unquestionably a significant figure in setting things in motion, economic factors were at least as important. There is also a simplistic and inaccurate description of the boucaniers of Tortuga, the original buccaneers, who they were and how they became settled there. This lack of a wider context lets the book down, and the action seems to derive largely from existing accounts by Pope and Peter Earle.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I've really enjoyed reading Empire of Blue Water, it's a relaxed and well thought out book that has held my attention and kept me wanting to turn the page throughout. I was unaware of the author before i picked this up but have enjoyed his style, it's a very well written piece of historic narrative. The story centre's losely around the biography of Henry Morgan and the privateers who sailed out of Port Royal in Jamaica and into the Spanish New world of the Southern Americas. Full of bloody accounts of the raids Morgan carried out on the Spanish main but with enough political intrigues and depth of the main characters involved to really flesh the story and bring its history to life within your mind. I have had no previous reading on this period of history and i must point out that this is more of a narrative heavy style of history and isnt a course text book full of facts ands figures but it has still done more than enough to capture my imagination and fire my desire to find further reading on this chapter of Britains naval past. Highly recommended.
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