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on 30 July 2009
While persecution and progroms figure large in Jewish history, this book is - to the best of my knowledge - unique in that it chronicles the daring deeds of Jewish pirates and their fascinating, long-forgotten building empire-building activities. An informative and entertaining saga of swashbuckling adventures on the high seas and elsewhere, it captures a gritty and glorious era from an unusual perspective. Charting events from the end of the fifteenth century, and the time of the Spanish Inquisition, until the latter half of the seventeenth century, this well-researched account by historian Edward Kritzler manages to both inform and entertain.
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on 11 May 2015
A thoroughly disappointing book, made even worse because there are truly some really intriguing concepts which the books raises but fails to address. However, when one reads a book and finishes thinking that the title and the book are not actually meant for each other it is always a bad sign. Rather than being specifically about Jewish pirates this book is, in actuality, largely based upon evidence which pertains to the Conversos' communities (what used to be referred to the Marrano's). However, while this could be overlooked if the methodology were tackled from the beginning, the reader is in fact made to wait until p. 46 for a wholly unsatisfactory explanation which hinges upon the idea that the Converso communities of the New World were in fact crypto-Jews (to use a phrase that I do not subscribe to). Certainly, apostasy was never that simple and that much of the evidence employed comes from Inquisition reports (a source which is about as reliable as political propaganda for the twentieth century) the argument is less than convincing. That already weak argument is diluted further by the fact that this book, although there is a limited archival research which makes up the book (much of which is bizarre), is primarily a synthesis of other secondary material which means that many of Kritzler's conclusions appear tenuous at best. Overall, sloppily argued and poorly written. However, in the hands of a professional historian, some of the concepts which are propagated could become ground breaking.
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on 15 February 2012
This is the story of enterprising Jews,who had been expekked from Spain and Portugal during the Inquisition in the 15th century, turned to piracy and wrecked havoc on Spanish ships and settlements in the Caribbean.
This hidden facet of history that happened during the Age of Discovery tells marvellous stories of magnificent men and their ships.
Well written and researched it records the horrors of cruelty,torture and greed that were normal during this period of history.
Holland comes out well as a saviour of the Jews but ehe persecution lasted nearly 200 years.
A very good read.
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on 29 March 2015
While the writer clearly has an agenda, it makes for an alternative view of history with details that might otherwise be overlooked. Glad I read it!
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on 27 April 2013
I enjoyed this very much. Not an easy read, I have to say, but very edifying, and I consider it a worthwhile read.
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on 31 March 2016
Very interesting and informative read, not the best of writing styles though.
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on 22 May 2015
Only just started reading the book, but is most fascinating!
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on 28 July 2014
funnny why I loved the pirated of the carabean movies.
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on 3 August 2015
Brilliant and little known subject. Fascinating
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