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The Pirate Wars Hardcover – Import, 1 Apr 2005
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Earle does a good job covering the rise and reasons behind the three major eras of piracy in the Mediterannian and Altlantic seas. But the new part of this history for me was the account of European and, later, American responses to piracy. Generally, the pirates get all the treatment in histories, and Earle provides a look at their unsung opponents and the troubles and victories they had.
While there are some issues with some of the history (like continuing the myths about poor Capt. Kidd), the main issue I had was that very little excitement came at me off the page. It read like a standard history book, so while I was very interested in the material itself, the writing could have used a bit more "oomph".
Still, the material, and its perspective on the pirate hunters, certainly makes this a must read for any fan of this part of history.
Comparing and contrasting the epic myths of pirate lore against the real circumstances of the world they lived and sailed in, Earle does a great job of carrying the reader along. You’ll learn the political, economical, and geographical elements that defined the rise and fall of the pirate era. But unlike a dry historical account, Earle paints deep portraits of numerous known and little known pirates, and weaves the fable in with the fact.
It’s a wonderful time travel book, with descriptions of locales and life at the time vivid enough for your imagination to carry you there. And in the end, having learned some of the hard truths of a pirate’s life does little to dull one’s infatuation with them.
I’d recommend this book to anyone seeking an adventure, who’s not afraid to learn some interesting history along the way.
Robert E. Birnschein - Beachabond Books