Pirates of the Americas, Volume 1
The real world of piracy is brought vividly to life in this authoritative and entertaining new two-volume reference. Incorporating a wealth of new research, "Pirates of the Americas" offers hundreds of entries on the most famous--and infamous--buccaneers of the 1600s and 1700s, separating fact from fancy as it describes the men, their exploits, and the era in which they prowled the seas of North and Central America.
"Pirates of the Americas" begins in the mid- to late-17th century Caribbean--the earliest cradle of piracy in the New World--with detailed coverage of Dutch and French corsairs, English rovers such as Henry Morgan, and the Spaniards who fought against them all. The second volume marks the retreat of piracy into new hunting grounds--the Pacific and Red Sea--from the 1690s to the early 18th century, ending with the final pursuit into extinction in North America of last-gasp renegades such as William Kidd, Bartholomew Roberts, and Blackbeard.
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Pirates of the Americas. 2 volsUser Review - Book Verdict
The latest offering from noted naval historian and piracy scholar Marley (Pirates and Privateers of the Americas; Pirates: Adventurers of the High Seas) provides a comprehensive overview of the golden age and the inevitable decline of "rovers" in the Americas. Drawing on numerous primary sources and first-person accounts, this two-volume set is a rich, academic, fascinating examination of infamous pirates such as Bartholomew Roberts, Captain Kidd, and Henry Morgan, as well as lesser-known "gentlemen of fortune," including Kees the Devil, Rock Brasiliano, and Thomas Maggott. Not all of the more than 500-plus entries are privateer biographies; many examine those who hunted them, while still others define terms and concepts vital to understanding piracy during this period. Each entry concludes with a list of related topics and references, and many include illustrations and maps. Appendixes at the end of each volume include a substantial section containing primary-source documents in the form of letters, proclamations, and dispatches. With the volumes divided by date range—1650–1685 and 1686–1725—some of the entries are repeated. Those based on terms such as grenade or aviso vary with examples from the appropriate date range. The biographical entries, however, are often unaltered duplicates. BOTTOM LINE This work compares well to the standard tome on the subject, Philip Gosse's The Pirates' Who's Who. Marley, however, offers numerous illustrations, not to mention the appendixes. It's not the illustrations, but the colorful personalities that make this title so much more than an account of destruction and murder. Entertaining and scholarly, this work is a treasure for all libraries and users of many stripes.—Daniel Sifton, Vancouver Island Univ., B.C.