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The Pirate Wars
by Peter Earle
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312335806, Paperback)
The Pirate Wars takes the romantic fable of oceangoing Robin Hoods sailing under the "banner of King Death" and contrasts it with the murderous reality of robbery, torture, and murder on the high seas. Noted maritime historian Peter Earle charts centuries of piracy, from Cornwall to the Caribbean, from the sixteenth century to the hanging of the last pirate captain in Boston in 1835. Along the way, we meet characters like Edward Teach, the notorious "Blackbeard," the treasure-hungry Captain Kidd, the dreaded corsairs of Barbary, and the defiant buccaneers of the West Indies.
The Pirate Wars is an account of the golden age of pirates and of the men of the legitimate navies of the world charged with the task of finally bringing these cutthroats to justice.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:06:28 -0400)
"The Pirate Wars were campaigns fought by units of the navy against pirates in the years between 1600 and 1830, by which date pirates had been effectively driven from the seas. In this book, Peter Earle examines the story of these conflicts from the perspective of both protagonists." "Much of the focus is on pirates, and piracy throughout the period. Pirates tortured, robbed, drank and gambled at all times, but their customs and organisation altered radically, so much so that the pirate ships of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries were among the most democratic and egalitarian institutions ever to have existed. Earle draws on government documents and on lively contemporary descriptions, often by the pirates' former captives, to provide a fascinating history of some three and a half centuries of piracy." "Pirate ships were well-armed and well-manned and their only effective enemies were naval vessels sailing under orders to pursue and destroy them. The book tells how the navy slowly learned to defeat the pirates, from the early seventeenth century when the weak navy was almost completely ineffective until the 1820s when its skill and determination had created an awesome fighting weapon which spelled doom to pirates. Focusing primarily on the Royal Navy and, in the early nineteenth century, on the United States Navy, Earle examines the effect of changes in government policy and public opinion. Above all, he tells us of the men at the sharp end: the captains and crews of the naval frigates and sloops whose cruises were so often frustrating, but were sometimes crowned by dramatic battles, and whose correspondence and logbooks provide an abundance of colour and lively quotation."--BOOK JACKET.
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