Raiders & Rebels - A History Of The Golden Age Of Piracy

Raiders & Rebels is not like the majority of pirate books out there. Rather than focusing upon individual captains and their swashbuckling adventures, it instead presents the story of pirates as a chronological history and ties them all together with a lucidity not often found in a history book. Perhaps it is that the subject matter is of more interest, but this book starkly contrasts with Cuba: A New History which I recently tried reading but returned on the shelf to await future endeavours.

I really liked the approach of this book. It almost focuses less on the pirates themselves and more on the world in which they lived in, reasons why they turned pirate and what they were up against. Of course, there are recounts of the adventures they got up too, but it also introduces characters I had never heard of before, such as the Governor of the Bahamas, Woodes Rogers. The author himself has done a commendable job as he has an extensive notes section to show just where he is getting his evidence from, and has produced a highly readable book.

Now I love pirates anyway. I think they are a very interesting episode from history, full of larger than life characters which oddly enough makes the subject quite bearable as opposed to dull generals or some such. (Not that I am necessarily opposed to dull generals, sometimes they had quite good scandals, or so I am proposing). But I would like to say that I am not some pirate geek who fell in love with Pirates of the Carribbean and decided he wished to be a pirate. I think pirates are a great way to make history interesting to those who say that the subject is a terrible bore, and it is one of the earliest ways to see how ordinary people in action. This book does justice to the subject (you can see that the author really took time and effort in writing it) and is equally at home for those who love to read of adventure or those who appreciate good works of literature.

And now to finish with a quote that I found quite good:

Another, Thomas Morris, twenty-two, wearing bright red ribbons, when asked whether he repented of his wickedness, replied: "Yes, I do heartily repent. I repent I have not done more mischief, and that we did not cut the throats of them that took us, and I am extremely sorry that you aren't all hanged, as well as we."


Copyright © 2008 - Gavin's Book Log - is proudly powered by Blogger
Blogger Template