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Raiders and Rebels is a rich and vivid account of the golden age of piracy. From 1692 to 1725 pirates sailed the oceans of the world, terrorizing seamen and plundering ships laden with the riches of India, Africa, South America and the Caribbean. Beneath these well known facts lies the true story of pirates. They were common men and women escaping the social and economic r Raiders and Rebels is a rich and vivid account of the golden age of piracy. From 1692 to 1725 pirates sailed the oceans of the world, terrorizing seamen and plundering ships laden with the riches of India, Africa, South America and the Caribbean. Beneath these well known facts lies the true story of pirates. They were common men and women escaping the social and economic restrictions of 18th-century Europe. Their activities threatened the beginnings of world trade and jeopardized the economic security of several European nations even as they formed one of the first true democracies in the world.


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Raiders and Rebels is a rich and vivid account of the golden age of piracy. From 1692 to 1725 pirates sailed the oceans of the world, terrorizing seamen and plundering ships laden with the riches of India, Africa, South America and the Caribbean. Beneath these well known facts lies the true story of pirates. They were common men and women escaping the social and economic r Raiders and Rebels is a rich and vivid account of the golden age of piracy. From 1692 to 1725 pirates sailed the oceans of the world, terrorizing seamen and plundering ships laden with the riches of India, Africa, South America and the Caribbean. Beneath these well known facts lies the true story of pirates. They were common men and women escaping the social and economic restrictions of 18th-century Europe. Their activities threatened the beginnings of world trade and jeopardized the economic security of several European nations even as they formed one of the first true democracies in the world.

30 review for Raiders And Rebels: The Golden Age Of Piracy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

    This book is a very rich and detailed history of piracy, which is only enhanced by the author's skill in eloquent writing. I cannot recommend this book enough for lovers of non fiction on a subject that is bereft of real truth thanks to Hollywood. This book doesn't disappoint in intrigue, but also delivers facts alongside that make it so much more interesting than the modern interpretations of pirates. This book is a very rich and detailed history of piracy, which is only enhanced by the author's skill in eloquent writing. I cannot recommend this book enough for lovers of non fiction on a subject that is bereft of real truth thanks to Hollywood. This book doesn't disappoint in intrigue, but also delivers facts alongside that make it so much more interesting than the modern interpretations of pirates.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Fred Klink

    This is history that reads like a novel. Frank Sherry divides the story by time period and geography with each chapter dealing with a major figure from the "Golden Age of Piracy" (1692-1725). He relies heavily on "A General History of the Pyrates", believed to have been written by Daniel De Foe in 1724. However, other sources are used and the book is extensively footnoted. The author's premise, for which he makes a good case, is that the rise of piracy was a response to the increasing tyranny and This is history that reads like a novel. Frank Sherry divides the story by time period and geography with each chapter dealing with a major figure from the "Golden Age of Piracy" (1692-1725). He relies heavily on "A General History of the Pyrates", believed to have been written by Daniel De Foe in 1724. However, other sources are used and the book is extensively footnoted. The author's premise, for which he makes a good case, is that the rise of piracy was a response to the increasing tyranny and class distinctions imposed by the monarchies of Europe. The pirates felt themselves to be "free" and that such freedom was worth the risk of imprisonment or death. He makes a compelling case that piracy represents the first stirrings of the ideals of individual freedom and the natural rights of man that led to the American and French revolutions later in the century. But even without the interesting political theory, the book is a stirring tale of remarkable men (and women), whose short piratical careers are still part of both our history and mythology.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    I read this on and off and am most intrigued by the contrast in writing between this book and other, more utopian based books on piracy. This book does a nice job of discussing social and economic factors that contribute to piracy.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    A fascinating, if opinionated look at the high point of piracy in the Caribbean and the far East. Mostly a social and cultural history of pirates, it is an easy and interesting read, interspersed with quotes and images to give color. By no means a definitive history, it's a fun read for anyone who loves pirates, and/or the British navy. A fascinating, if opinionated look at the high point of piracy in the Caribbean and the far East. Mostly a social and cultural history of pirates, it is an easy and interesting read, interspersed with quotes and images to give color. By no means a definitive history, it's a fun read for anyone who loves pirates, and/or the British navy.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    About 1/3 through, and I'm enjoying the factual treatment of the book--as well as the historical background included that points out how poorly most regular sailors were treated and paid in the time of pirates. Sets a good stage for why people became pirates, though I'm waiting to find mention of the female pirates known to have plied the seas. About 1/3 through, and I'm enjoying the factual treatment of the book--as well as the historical background included that points out how poorly most regular sailors were treated and paid in the time of pirates. Sets a good stage for why people became pirates, though I'm waiting to find mention of the female pirates known to have plied the seas.

  6. 5 out of 5

    more

    Bandits or not, criminals or not, these pirates lived bravely. "If men are denied the chance to live in freedom, they will make their own freedom" This is exactly what these men did. The world they lived in then is definitely a different one from the world we live in now. Indeed they might have been the scourge of the earth that needed to be expunged, but who can deny that these boys and men wasted no time in being in absolute charge of their own destinies. What else would you call a man who sta Bandits or not, criminals or not, these pirates lived bravely. "If men are denied the chance to live in freedom, they will make their own freedom" This is exactly what these men did. The world they lived in then is definitely a different one from the world we live in now. Indeed they might have been the scourge of the earth that needed to be expunged, but who can deny that these boys and men wasted no time in being in absolute charge of their own destinies. What else would you call a man who stares death in the face and doesn't ever surrender if not brave?

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Ranger

    I *loved* this book. It's not often that what us basically an academic text is written in such a fun and engaging manner. I started reading it just to see the author's perspective on the Caribbean Golden Age of Piracy, and was almost entirely unaware of the (fascinating) East African/Indian Ocean history. Just a stellar book. I *loved* this book. It's not often that what us basically an academic text is written in such a fun and engaging manner. I started reading it just to see the author's perspective on the Caribbean Golden Age of Piracy, and was almost entirely unaware of the (fascinating) East African/Indian Ocean history. Just a stellar book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Michael Brantley

    This book is researched in depth and I can't imagine how long the author worked on it. With that said, he took care to make sure it was a good read, interesting, and plenty of scenes wrapped around facts. He handles the part where speculation is required quite well. Fascinating book I will be making a permanent spot for in the home library. This book is researched in depth and I can't imagine how long the author worked on it. With that said, he took care to make sure it was a good read, interesting, and plenty of scenes wrapped around facts. He handles the part where speculation is required quite well. Fascinating book I will be making a permanent spot for in the home library.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    This book!!!! I devoured it. Probably the best historical book I have ever read. Written like I would like all historical books written, I cannot recommend this book enough. Sheds light on how the golden age started and the key elements that made it thrive. Plus, outlines its downfall. I couldnt put it down.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jack Sprat

    Having had a lifelong fascination for pirates, this book cuts through all the myths and fictions about pirates, and tells you what the real ones were actually really like. A very welcome treasure-trove of information!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Edward Sapp

    Can’t set it down Great blend of macro & micro detail, full global context why it all happened coupled with fascinating anecdotes of the characters that dominated the pirate outbreak

  12. 5 out of 5

    Apriel

    Great history of not only pirates and the men who fought against them, but also the social, political, and economic circumstances that created them. Excellent read!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Erik

    Great read! The way the author turns the history of these pirates into fantastic tales, kept me entertained throughout the entire book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Scott Goglin

    What a good book!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Josiah

    Dull and a bit lazy, I gave up on this book after coming back to it from a long break. I originally bought it in the Caribbean, on a Nicaraguan island looking to learn more about the pirates that ruled that coast for so long. Unfortunately, this book was simply not very good. The bland dull style does little to illuminate the fascinating subject; the prose is very roundabout and lengthy without delivering much on information; the footnotes are more asides that actually would do better in the tex Dull and a bit lazy, I gave up on this book after coming back to it from a long break. I originally bought it in the Caribbean, on a Nicaraguan island looking to learn more about the pirates that ruled that coast for so long. Unfortunately, this book was simply not very good. The bland dull style does little to illuminate the fascinating subject; the prose is very roundabout and lengthy without delivering much on information; the footnotes are more asides that actually would do better in the text itself; and the author's own opinions come out far too much for a reasoned history. The exact moment I realised that I should abandon this book is on page 138, where the author relates that "Pirates also expressed their hatred of Authority by jeering at the civilization they despised, feared, and fought against. Examples of their rancorous mockery abound", but then neglects to proffer any such examples. If you can't be bothered to even prove to me you're not making this up, then I'm not going to waste any more time reading your history. Not a good book, not recommended.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nick Fitzhenry

    Such an enjoyable read - as much history of early colonialism as piracy. Sherry describes the golden age piracy, a short era which spanned from 1690 to 1725, from which comes the classic image of a pirate. During this time, a loose confederacy of pirates, many of whom were former begrudged seamen enlisted in colonial navies, took to piracy, raiding merchant ships along Madagascar and the Red Sea, in the West Indies, and off the West Coast of Africa. The author does a good job at showing how the Such an enjoyable read - as much history of early colonialism as piracy. Sherry describes the golden age piracy, a short era which spanned from 1690 to 1725, from which comes the classic image of a pirate. During this time, a loose confederacy of pirates, many of whom were former begrudged seamen enlisted in colonial navies, took to piracy, raiding merchant ships along Madagascar and the Red Sea, in the West Indies, and off the West Coast of Africa. The author does a good job at showing how the politics of the Old World, such as the shifting alliances of Spain and England, opened up opportunities for men to turn to piracy. Other chapters tell the tales of famous pirate captains, such as Captain Kidd, Anne Bonny and Bartholomew Roberts. One of my favorite chapters describes the pirate town of Nassau in the Bahamas, which served as a base of operations of Blackbeard and Rackham in their heyday. The book makes a good balance of providing a historical account, while giving you the swashbuckling energy that you’d hope to get from a book about pirates.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Paul Spencer

    I love anything about pirates and the Golden Age of Pirates. Sherry's book is well researched and he has gone to great lengths to separate myth from truth. I found the information about the British Navigation Act to be particularly interesting. Everyone says that the reason for the Revolutionary War was British oppression. Raiders and Rebels explains in this book exactly that through the Navigation Act, the British had effectively prohibited the colonies from conducting any trade whatsoever. The N I love anything about pirates and the Golden Age of Pirates. Sherry's book is well researched and he has gone to great lengths to separate myth from truth. I found the information about the British Navigation Act to be particularly interesting. Everyone says that the reason for the Revolutionary War was British oppression. Raiders and Rebels explains in this book exactly that through the Navigation Act, the British had effectively prohibited the colonies from conducting any trade whatsoever. The Navigation Act precipitated the Golden Age of Piracy in addition to the Boston Tea Party and eventually the Revolutionary War. Anyone that is interested in the history of the Golden age of Piracy will want to read this book. I give it five stars.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas Aune

    Even though Sherry gives a pretty weak case for Captain Kidd, the author writes a very interesting history of the Golden Age of Piracy. Except that it solely focuses on British and North American pirates operating out of Madagascar up to the Seven Years War. It offers a pretty narrow scope of what pirates were and where they operated from. Still, Sherry gives an honest depiction of the harshness of naval life ,seriously examines the political and economic motivations behind joining a pirate crew Even though Sherry gives a pretty weak case for Captain Kidd, the author writes a very interesting history of the Golden Age of Piracy. Except that it solely focuses on British and North American pirates operating out of Madagascar up to the Seven Years War. It offers a pretty narrow scope of what pirates were and where they operated from. Still, Sherry gives an honest depiction of the harshness of naval life ,seriously examines the political and economic motivations behind joining a pirate crew, and Sherry does build a strong case that piracy was the first major rebellion to the Navigation Acts prior to the American Revolution.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Boris

    Good survey of piracy in the late 17th and early 18th centuries including a closer look at some of the more infamous names in piracy at the time, such as Blackbeard, Captain Kidd, Calico Jack Rackham and the female pirates, Anne Bonny and Mary Read. The book is largely based on "A General History of Pyrates", published anonymously but probably written by Daniel Defoe. Good survey of piracy in the late 17th and early 18th centuries including a closer look at some of the more infamous names in piracy at the time, such as Blackbeard, Captain Kidd, Calico Jack Rackham and the female pirates, Anne Bonny and Mary Read. The book is largely based on "A General History of Pyrates", published anonymously but probably written by Daniel Defoe.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Chris Brimmer

    Written in a breezy magazine style, this was an entertaining and quick read. Sherry does bias his sourcing to Defoe a bit much but if you rely a bit much on one source you could do worse. As popular history this is one of the best I've read in a while. Written in a breezy magazine style, this was an entertaining and quick read. Sherry does bias his sourcing to Defoe a bit much but if you rely a bit much on one source you could do worse. As popular history this is one of the best I've read in a while.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    A great history. Easy to read and interesting on every page. Well researched - with notes lest you doubt, and yet approachable as a "reading but not studying" type of book. I'll be sending this as gifts. A great history. Easy to read and interesting on every page. Well researched - with notes lest you doubt, and yet approachable as a "reading but not studying" type of book. I'll be sending this as gifts.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Very interesting but not gripping

  23. 4 out of 5

    Missy

  24. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Tanous

  25. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

  26. 5 out of 5

    Erin

  27. 4 out of 5

    Katelyn Barbee

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Carpenter

  29. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Peterson

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

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