The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates

The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates

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by Peter T. Leeson
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0691137471

ISBN-13: 9780691137476

Pub. Date: 03/31/2009

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Pack your cutlass and blunderbuss—it's time to go a-pirating! The Invisible Hook takes readers inside the wily world of late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century pirates. With swashbuckling irreverence and devilish wit, Peter Leeson uncovers the hidden economics behind pirates' notorious, entertaining, and sometimes downright shocking behavior. Why

Overview

Pack your cutlass and blunderbuss—it's time to go a-pirating! The Invisible Hook takes readers inside the wily world of late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century pirates. With swashbuckling irreverence and devilish wit, Peter Leeson uncovers the hidden economics behind pirates' notorious, entertaining, and sometimes downright shocking behavior. Why did pirates fly flags of Skull & Bones? Why did they create a "pirate code"? Were pirates really ferocious madmen? And what made them so successful? The Invisible Hook uses economics to examine these and other infamous aspects of piracy. Leeson argues that the pirate customs we know and love resulted from pirates responding rationally to prevailing economic conditions in the pursuit of profits.

The Invisible Hook looks at legendary pirate captains like Blackbeard, Black Bart Roberts, and Calico Jack Rackam, and shows how pirates' search for plunder led them to pioneer remarkable and forward-thinking practices. Pirates understood the advantages of constitutional democracy—a model they adopted more than fifty years before the United States did so. Pirates also initiated an early system of workers' compensation, regulated drinking and smoking, and in some cases practiced racial tolerance and equality. Leeson contends that pirates exemplified the virtues of vice—their self-seeking interests generated socially desirable effects and their greedy criminality secured social order. Pirates proved that anarchy could be organized.

Revealing the democratic and economic forces propelling history's most colorful criminals, The Invisible Hook establishes pirates' trailblazing relevance to the contemporary world.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691137476
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
03/31/2009
Pages:
296
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xi

Preface and Acknowledgments xiii

Chapter 1: The Invisible Hook 1

Chapter 2: Vote for Blackbeard

The Economics of Pirate Democracy 23

Chapter 3: An-arrgh-chy

The Economics of the Pirate Code 45

Chapter 4: Skull & Bones

The Economics of the Jolly Roger 82

Chapter 5: Walk the Plank

The Economics of Pirate Torture 107

Chapter 6: Pressing Pegleg

The Economics of Pirate Conscription 134

Chapter 7: Equal Pay for Equal Prey

The Economics of Pirate Tolerance 156

Chapter 8: The Secrets of Pirate Management 176

Epilogue: Omnipresent Economics 194

Postscript: You Can't Keep a Sea Dog Down The Fall and Rise of Piracy 197

Where This Book Found Its Buried Treasure A Note on Sources 207

Notes 213

Index 2

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The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
jmahon10524 More than 1 year ago
An entertaining read, even if based on a very limited and suspect data base for an economist! As a big bonus, the work serves as the perfect playbook for the TV series Black Sails.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago