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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Empire of Blue Water
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...
Published on 7 Dec 2012 by Mr. L. Price

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Short on Research
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...
Published on 14 Nov 2007 by Jon Latimer


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Empire of Blue Water, 7 Dec 2012
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Mr. L. Price (Ashingdon Essex) - See all my reviews
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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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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. By the same token, the use of American cultural reference points does not always enlighten; comparing the Caribbean to Neil Armstrong's moon landing is neither realistic nor helpful, ignoring as it does earlier English involvement in the West Indies, especially William Jackson's 1642 invasion of Jamaica, that revealed Spanish weakness in the region. Nevertheless, there are occasional flashes of insight, and despite the reservations, it's an entertaining read.
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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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An old empire falling in the New World, 8 Nov 2009
By 
John Middleton (Brisbane, QLD, AUST) - See all my reviews
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Empire of Blue Water is a gripping read - and while it is "history", it reads like fiction, and presents a case for the author's view that the privateer depredations of the Spanish Main were the beginning of the end of the Spanish Empire, and the genesis of the British Empire that would begin in the New World and spread around the globe.

The story begins with Thomas Gage's journey to the Caribbean and the conquest of Jamaica. It then follows Henry Morgan's raids - the sack of Portobello, the looting of Panama, and finally (with the outbreak of peace) his slow descent into alcoholism and death.

Talty paints a vivid picture of the 1600's, and, rightly or wrongly, contrasts the religious views of the British and Spanish as an integral part of the tale (as, to be fair, it was part of politics and life at the time). The Spanish fall of empire is seen as a reflection of the will of God by the Spanish, while at the same time the greed and inflexibility of Spanish administration is another possible culprit.

The book ends with the fall of "the wickedest city" Port Royal into the sea in an earthquake years after Morgan's death - and we are told his coffin burst from its grave and floated out to sea in the destruction. If true, that seems a suitable end for a cruel, driven man who played a small part in changing the world.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Talty brings the Caribbean of the 16th & 17th century to life in this engaging read, 19 Jun 2007
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F. Cowley (UK) - See all my reviews
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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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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stirring stuff!, 4 July 2007
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Don't be fooled by the accademic credentials, this is fast and loose history indeed! Stephen Talty obviously engages thorougly with the material and the result is vivid, fresh, fast-paced- a perfect canter through a very en-vogue period right now. As history its a little sloppy: occasional cringey anachronisations and slang, the bending of time to suit the trajectory of the plot, and so on...but it is perfect story telling!
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History that reads like fiction, 22 Dec 2008
This book is a great example of history made exciting. I'm not in a position to comment on whether the research is a bit 'light' as one of the other reviewers said but the book is certainly great entertainment.

I'd never previously really focused on the differences between pirates and privateers but men like Henry Morgan were patriots and not simply nationless pirates. Also I had never known how much damage the raids of privateers such as Morgan did to the Spanish empire and how amphibious they were; from films etc one has the impression that they were first of all sailors and only soldiers second but the truth is the reverse and Morgan was never that great a sailor.

Definitely one to read and you become interested from the early part of the book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great for a ten year old, 3 Feb 2010
By 
Miran Ali "I don't like anonymous reviewers" (Dhaka, Bangladesh) - See all my reviews
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I thought this was a wonderful book, for a ten year old kid that is. It's light, superficial and trendy style is just the thing to get a kid off of his Nintendo and to reading. It does have various cool allusions to the modern age, such as Morgan sailing off on one of this expeditions is similar to a voyage to the dark side of the moon; another one I loved compared the relations between England and Spain to that of the US and Russia during the 'shooting period of the Cold War', I'll let you work that one out.

I am amazed at the high ratings this has gotten.
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