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Jewish pirates of the Caribbean : how a…
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Jewish pirates of the Caribbean : how a generation of swashbuckling Jews… (original 2008; edition 2008)

by Edward Kritzler

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3201262,097 (3.2)15
At the end of the fifteenth century, the Spanish Inquisition forced Jews to flee the country. The most adventurous among them took to the high seas as freewheeling outlaws. attacking and plundering the Spanish fleet while forming alliances with other European powers to ensure the safety of Jews living in hiding. This book is the entertaining saga of a hidden chapter in Jewish history and of the cruelty, terror, and greed that flourished during the Age of Discovery. Readers will meet such daring figures as the pirate rabbi Samuel Palache, who founded Holland's Jewish community; Abraham Cohen Henriques, an arms dealer who used his cunning and economic muscle to find safe havens for other Jews; and his pirate brother Moses, credited with the capture of the Spanish silver fleet in 1628--the largest heist in pirate history. Historian Kritzler here captures a gritty and glorious era of history from an eye-opening perspective.--From publisher description.… (more)
Member:mdiament
Title:Jewish pirates of the Caribbean : how a generation of swashbuckling Jews carved out an empire in the new world in their quest for treasure, religious freedom--and revenge
Authors:Edward Kritzler
Info:New York : Doubleday, c2008.
Collections:Nightstand
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Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean: How a Generation of Swashbuckling Jews Carved Out an Empire in the New World in Their Quest for Treasure, Religious Freedom--and Revenge by Edward Kritzler (2008)

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» See also 15 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
This history book was a lot of fun to read. Not only were there Jewish pirates, but some of them were rabbis and spies at the same time. The history covers the Spanish Inquisition and how that impacted Jewish migration to the Caribbean and Amsterdam, and later New York. The Jews ability to set up trade routes and manage high profit exchanges made them valuable business partners, as well as political allies. If you are interested in Jewish history, this book is definitely worth reading. ( )
  kerryp | Jul 4, 2020 |
While it presents history that I was never aware of, the author could have done a better job of telling it. At times, it is the classic "great man" narrative, detailing the exploits of some key individuals. But in other places, in order to set the stage for what follows, he wanders about the colonial history of the Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, and English -- and doesn't do a particularly good job at it.

( )
  jdoshna | Mar 29, 2020 |
Edward Kritzler tells the tale of an unlikely group of swashbuckling Jews who ransacked the high seas in the aftermath of the Spanish Inquisition. At the end of the fifteenth century, many Jews had to flee Spain and Portugal. The most adventurous among them took to the seas as freewheeling outlaws.
They attacked and plundered the Spanish fleet while forming alliances with other European powers to ensure the safety of Jews living in hiding.
  HandelmanLibraryTINR | Jul 21, 2019 |
If this history had been a more careful, better sourced history, I think I’d have liked it better. If it were historical fiction concentrating on two or three Jewish pirates, instead of talking about people across nationalities, cultures and politics (both religious and national) I’d have liked it better. As it is, it’s a better concept than it is a book. When I was Sunday School, or possibly Hebrew School, as a student many, many years ago, a teacher said that Columbus may have been Jewish but certainly sailed with Jewish sailors. This information has been around a long time. The Age of Exploration is also genocide, several times over: of Indians, of Jews because it coincided with the Inquisition, and of Africans taken from their homes as slaves. According to this book, the Triangle Trade was funded by, sailed by and profited by Jews. I’m done here. ( )
  anyanwubutler | Nov 24, 2013 |
Kritzler's portrait of the Jewish pirate, and more broadly, the Jewish entrepreneur of the period of Europe's mass expulsions and pogroms, has all the elements of a great tale, immediately evoking Chabon's novel of swashbuckling Jews, Gentlemen of the Road. However, Kitzler's book is hard to read, repetitive, switches tenses, and otherwise pulls the reader out of the narrative and into an irritated search for previous statements, chronology, and gist. If you can work around the problematic delivery, you should find this a fascinating account of how Jewish and converso merchants, spurred by the threat of the Inquisition, helped determine the political fate of the Caribbean and other New World colonies.

I've read some complaints that Kritzler doesn't apologize for the involvement of Jews in the slave trade. Actually, he describes it as limited and does provide some commentary, though long after his first mention of this activity. However, this criticism seems to me to be beside the point--Kinzler neither defends nor reprimands his subjects for any specific actions. While the overall tone is admiring, the overall style is reportage.

( )
  OshoOsho | Mar 30, 2013 |
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At the end of the fifteenth century, the Spanish Inquisition forced Jews to flee the country. The most adventurous among them took to the high seas as freewheeling outlaws. attacking and plundering the Spanish fleet while forming alliances with other European powers to ensure the safety of Jews living in hiding. This book is the entertaining saga of a hidden chapter in Jewish history and of the cruelty, terror, and greed that flourished during the Age of Discovery. Readers will meet such daring figures as the pirate rabbi Samuel Palache, who founded Holland's Jewish community; Abraham Cohen Henriques, an arms dealer who used his cunning and economic muscle to find safe havens for other Jews; and his pirate brother Moses, credited with the capture of the Spanish silver fleet in 1628--the largest heist in pirate history. Historian Kritzler here captures a gritty and glorious era of history from an eye-opening perspective.--From publisher description.

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