Top critical review
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As a popular work of history a perfectly acceptable book, for anything else don't get your hopes up.
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.