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Buccaneers, privateers, pirates , the Royal Navy & Imperialism
on 7 February 2008
A really well written book which explores the reality & myths surrounding piracy. This book concentrates on the piracy from the late 16th century onwards (for a period up to & including the early part of the 19th century).Inside, chapters entitled "A Nation Of Pirates", "The Buccaneers" , "War Against The Pirates" & "The Golden Age Of Pirates" (to name but a few) explore the different types of piracy (state sanctioned & outright criminal) perpetrated by a variety of nations & their subjects.
The link between piracy & imperialist ambition is well explained & the role of the great navies of the world in first encouraging (or at least turning a blind eye to pirate activity) & then hunting down & attacking the pirates, as views on piracy (particularly amongst the establishment) changed is fascinating.
This book is not a romantic vision of piracy, the author himself admits to siding with the forces of "law & order" but even so, this distinction was at times blurred, as privateers wreaked havoc with the blessing of those same legitimate forces & institutions.
From the Barbary pirates to those of Northern Europe, featuring the likes of Captain Kidd & Henry Morgan, this is a journey through history on the high seas.
A well written attempt to go beyond the fables & tall tales, in order to look at the real history behind this period of piracy. The author has made good use of historical sources (particularly Admiralty records of the time) to produce an entertaining & yet very illuminating book.