At the end of the fifteenth century, the Spanish Inquisition forced many Jews to flee the country. The most adventurous among them took to the high seas as freewheeling outlaws. In ships bearing names such as Prophet Samuel, Queen Esther, and Shield of Abraham, they attacked and plundered the Spanish fleet while forming alliances with other European powers to ensure the safety of Jews living in hiding.
Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean is the entertaining saga of a hidden chapter in Jewish history, and of the cruelty, terror and greed that flourished during the Age of Discovery. Among the many daring figures to feature in the book are: ‘ the Great Jewish Pirate’ Sinan, Barbarossa’ s second-in-command; Rabbi Samuel Palache and his brother, Joseph, who went from commanding pirate ships to founding the first openly Jewish community in the New World; and Abraham Cohen Henriques, and arms dealer who used his cunning and economic muscle to find safe havens for other Jews.
Filled with high-seas adventures including encounters with Captain Morgan and other legendary pirates – and detailed portraits of cities stacked high with plunder, such as Port Royal, Jamaica, Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean captures a gritty and glorious era of history from an unusual and eye opening perspective.
Edward Kritzler is a historian and a former reporter for USA Today. He lives in Kingston, Jamaica.
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Excellent book on a less well-known area of Jewish history. One glaring error though. The Jews were expelled from England in 1290 by King Edward I and not King John. King John died in 1216.