Villains of All Nations: Atlantic Pirates in the Golden Age

Villains of All Nations: Atlantic Pirates in the Golden Age

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by Marcus Rediker
     
 

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Villains of All Nations explores the 'Golden Age' of Atlantic piracy (1716-1726) and the infamous generation whose images underlie our modern, romanticized view of pirates.

Rediker introduces us to the dreaded black flag, the Jolly Roger; swashbuckling figures such as Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard; and the unnamed, unlimbed pirate who was…  See more details below

Overview

Villains of All Nations explores the 'Golden Age' of Atlantic piracy (1716-1726) and the infamous generation whose images underlie our modern, romanticized view of pirates.

Rediker introduces us to the dreaded black flag, the Jolly Roger; swashbuckling figures such as Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard; and the unnamed, unlimbed pirate who was likely Robert Louis Stevenson's model for Long John Silver in Treasure Island.

This history shows from the bottom up how sailors emerged from deadly working conditions on merchant and naval ships, turned pirate, and created a starkly different reality aboard their own ships, electing their officers, dividing their booty equitably, and maintaining a multinational social order. The real lives of this motley crew-which included cross-dressing women, people of color, and the'outcasts of all nations'-are far more compelling than contemporary myth.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Rediker (Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea), a historian of maritime labor, opens his immensely readable study of the "golden age" of piracy (1716-1726) with the spectacle of an execution in which a notorious pirate, unrepentant and seemingly unconcerned to be facing death, reties the knot of his gallows noose with defiant ironic humor. For Rediker, pirates were bold subversives who challenged the prevailing social order and empire building of the five main trading nations. Emphasizing the hardship, injustice and brutality the average sailor faced in his career, Rediker suggests that piracy offered a more egalitarian seafaring life, as well as opportunities for revenge on the ruling class. Rediker uses captives' accounts, among other sources, to show how pirates meted out their own system of justice, torturing captains reputed for their harsh treatment of sailors, yet sparing others known for fairness. He explores pirate dialects, rituals and symbols, and shows how pirates inverted social norms, creating a carnivalesque way of life that featured fraternal solidarity, a precapitalist share system and the wanton destruction of property. A chapter on picaresque women pirates reveals links between their iconic image and Delacroix's painting Liberty. Using statistics to show convincingly that by the 1720s piracy posed a real threat to global trade, Rediker describes how nations launched a military-legal campaign against piracy, with cannon battles and gruesome public executions. Rediker uses this apocalyptic close of piracy's golden age to explore its suicidal side. Although Rediker's short study does not tackle later myths of piracy, it provides penetrating background to our enduring cultural fascination with the seafaring outlaws. Illus. (June) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
Marcus Rediker knows pirates, and he knows how to tell a story. Villains of All Nations is a must read; don't wait for the movie! -Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807095386
Publisher:
Beacon Press
Publication date:
04/05/2011
Sold by:
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
927,816
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

Marcus Rediker is professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh. He is author of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea and coauthor of The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic, which won the International Labor History Association Book Prize in 2001. He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is at work on a history of the slave ship.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Villains of All Nations: Atlantic Pirates in the Golden Age 1.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
makaser More than 1 year ago
I bought the Nook version of this book for a school assignment and it's missing FIVE chapters! I went through technical support and they confirmed it is something wrong with the file itself. They refunded my money but now I have to find it elsewhere with limited times as it's for school.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The previous reviews summed it up accurately. I would like to say that I appreciate the customer service from BN in helping me resolve the matter. They refunded me immediately so that I can purchase the hard copy. The only thing that's needed to be done is for BN to contact the book's publisher and have them fix the missing chapters. If they can't fix it, then BN should stop selling it. It's like false advertisement. The book is incomplete.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HUGE portion of the nook book missing. Do not buy! I bought this title for a class in full faith when the term started and now I have to scramble to get a complete copy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago