When People Think of Pirates, they usually envision swashbuckling, adventurous figures who spent their time searching for buried treasure. This is a distorted, romantic view that has come down to us. In reality, pirates were little more than thieves and murderers, dedicated to robbery, pillage, and enslavement. Their business was a continuous, organized activity--from which both nations and individuals benefited. People eagerly bought plunder from pirates, and perhaps the most profitable plunder of all were men and women pirates enslaved.
Milton Meltzer, who has been called "arguably the best writer of social history for children and adolescents ever," uncovers the true--and often bloody, always fascinating--stories of pirates and piracy, both past and present. Here are portraits of Blackbeard, Captain Kidd, and other notorious pirates, including women like Ching Shih and Mary Read. Here also are the forms of piracy that still plague us today, such as smuggling and copyright infringement. In Bruce Waldman's striking, dynamic illustrations and Mr. Meltzer's vivid prose, the nefarious and startling world of piracy is unforgettably evoked.