Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates

Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates

3.8 23
by David Cordingly
     
 

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For this rousing, revisionist history, the former head of exhibitions at England's National Maritime Museum has combed original documents and records to produce a most authoritative and definitive account of piracy's "Golden Age." As he explodes many accepted myths (i.e. "walking the plank" is pure fiction), Cordingly replaces them with a truth

Overview

For this rousing, revisionist history, the former head of exhibitions at England's National Maritime Museum has combed original documents and records to produce a most authoritative and definitive account of piracy's "Golden Age." As he explodes many accepted myths (i.e. "walking the plank" is pure fiction), Cordingly replaces them with a truth that is more complex and often bloodier. 16 pp. of photos. Maps.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812977226
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/09/2006
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
75,985
Product dimensions:
5.14(w) x 7.97(h) x 0.70(d)

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Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
The_Captain More than 1 year ago
No piratey collection would be complete without this book. I enjoyed it so much that this book has found its rightful place next to my flintlock pistol, cutlass, and mahogany chest bursting with bits of shiny and other valuable swag. This book is an excellent, informative resource on piracy, offering an in-depth look into the lives of those cutthroat sea-rovers and drivelswiggers who practiced pillaging and plundering. If you're looking for an exciting pirate-themed book full of buried treasure, walking the plank, or pirate maps with an "X" marking the location of a glittering treasure, this book is not for you; however, if you desire an absolutely thrilling read that will suck you into the realm of piracy through hardcore facts and gruesome historical details, this book is a must-have. If you are really into pirates and their history, do yourself a favor and purchase this book. Cut out me tongue and leave me dancin' the hempen jig if I be tellin' a mishap!
ncgolden More than 1 year ago
I walked into BN and asked an employee for a book recommendation and they gave me this. I bought the book and for the first few pages thought that I had made a bad choice. After getting into the actual material though, I was stuck. The book is written from the point of view that we have been bombarded with a very romantic and fictional view of pirates in popular culture. David Cordingly attempts to bring our ideas back to earth and does so in singular fashion. He distinguishes between specific pirate "variations" and shows off an enormous amount of research into the movements of actual pirates and buccaneers. With his frequent use of humor and surprisingly lighthearted (for the subject matter) stories, the author has produced a work that will appeal to the casual reader as well as the serious scholar.
wurdnurd More than 1 year ago
A well-researched account of piracy and its impact on popular culture, it's fairly obvious that this book was written almost 15 years ago. At the same time, it's stunning to realize that, of all the depictions of pirates in modern culture, Disney (or Jerry Bruckheimer and co) actually got it more right than wrong. While I was disappointed that women's voices were barely heard (as pirates) or were dismissed (as victims), and the afterward was ridiculously misogynistic, I still enjoyed learning how pirates actually behaved and survived during their height. I would especially love an updated afterward that reflects that, just like terrorists of today, the pirates were products of desperate times and unfair systems, and reflect the current rise in piracy in the global climate.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a excellent source of information on pirates and what really happened on board the ships. Very graphic and gruesome, not romanticized at all in that respect. It was not written for 'entertainment'! I am reading quite a few books on the subject right now, and it is the book I refer to for in depth explainations. Outstanding!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book was definately not what I expected either. But all in all I still think that it was a good book. Just hard to follow
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was expecting the author to present the material in a more entertaining way however, this book read more like a history book and was very difficult to finish.
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Cornellian More than 1 year ago
The depth and breadth of research and detail in this book is phenomenal. However, the author never gets into a steady story and I found it generally difficult to read more than one or two chapters in one sitting. The book would make an excellent textbook or reference guide, but generally fails to entertain. If you like your Disney-fied images of pirates with parrots, peg-legs, and planks, stay away from this book. But if you really want to know what life on the high seas was like for these men (and women!), I doubt that any book is better.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I love pirates and the fascinating stories that surround them, and Cordingly delivers a lot of interesting facts and alternate views, mostly about the buccaneers of the Caribbean. But he missed a chance to deliver it in an interesting way. The book is organized like a term paper, with chapters organized to deliver the facts he had gathered. Only the bravest non-pirate temperaments will make it to the end of this sometimes tedious plank!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Under the black flag clears away a lot of the myth and legends of pirates while telling you were they came from and giving you the real story. Bravo!