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The History of Pirates [Hardcover]

Angus Konstam
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 22 2002
Piracy flourished in the early eighteenth century, producing many of the pirates whose names have gripped our imaginations: Blackbeard, Captain Kidd, and Bartholomew Roberts, to name a few. Yet piracy existed long before Blackbeard's name struck terror in the hearts of merchant seamen - Julius Caesar was captured by pirates - and it still exists today; boats sailing through the South China Sea are regularly attacked by modern-day buccaneers.

The History of Pirates traces piracy from the seas of antiquity to the New World and beyond. It is a thorough, authoritative, and memorable portrait of the fascinating world of pirates. Detailed maps bear vivid testimony to the far-ranging exploits of these capricious, sometimes charismatic, and frequently bloodthirsty seadogs and highwaymen of the oceans.


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About the Author

Dr. Angus Konstam was the curator of arms and armour at the Tower of London, and is now the chief curator of the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in Key West, Florida, responsible for organizing major exhibitions throughout the eastern seaboard. Dr. Konstam's knowledge of maritime history, and his exposure to countless historical objects and manuscripts, have helped make this a truly exceptional study.

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First Sentence
Reading the word "pirate" conjures up a powerful image; it has a fascination that reaches into the soul of the purest landlubber. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Resource Jan. 3 2004
Format:Paperback
The scope of this book is very wide. It covers the history of piracy from the ancient world until the modern age. The bulk of the material, however, covers the golden age of piracy in the Carribean Sea and the Indian Ocean. The format of the book is very large with full color pictures on every page. Basically it's a coffee table book. The color pictures definitely stir the imagination. Fan of pirate lore and fans of the recent movie "Pirates of the Carribean" will be pleased to read this.
My only complaint is that the text is a little light. Even famous pirates such as Blackbeard and Captain Morgan only get two pages each. I realize that some text space had to be sacrificed for all the color pictures, but I was hoping for a little more information. If you're interested in pictures or if you aren't such a heavy reader, this will be a great book for you. If you would like something a little meatier, perhaps another book is for you. I do think this is an excellent source for pictures of pirates though.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Part of My Pirate Library Sept. 14 2002
Format:Hardcover
This is probably my second favorite book on pirates (Under the Black Flag is first). However, this is a high quality overview of the history of pirates from earliest recorded times onward. Konstam breaks it down by era, from the ancient world on, with discussion of the periods, famous names and regions. The graphic content is probably even more impressive than the text. The inclusion of maps and period images make this an entertaining as well as informative read. P-)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pirates from ancient raiders to modern guerillas Sept. 18 2000
Format:Hardcover
Angus Konstam takes us through a general history of piracy on the seas, from the ancient raiders of Babylonia and Greece to the modern-day guerillas in speedboats armed with AK-47 assault rifles in the south China Sea. Each chapter is well illustrated with period paintings and photographs, with particular focus on the "Golden Age of Piracy" in the 16th and 17th century when galleons and merchant brigs carried gold, jewels, sugar, cotton, and rum from the Spanish Main to the American colonies and Europe.
Well written and easy to read, each page is printed on glossy paper and clean typeface, with illustrations to help convey the mood of the book. Its an entertaining history of piracy (and if a book isn't entertaining, then why read it?). It may not have the depth of some of the more scholastically-oriented books available, but this book is a good place to start when building your library.
Overall, a good book to have around.
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