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FROM THE INTRODUCTIONThe aim of this book is to set the record straightto expose the romantic myths about pirates that have existed for centuries. In fact, piracy was a brutal business, far removed from the rose-tinted world of Captain Jack Sparrow. The unvarnished truth is that piracy is a crime. . . . If that doesn't sound particularly exotic or romantic, it shouldn't. Piracy has been known to encompass assault, murder, kidnapping, and torture, none of which sit comfortably with the popular view of piracy. . . . I decided I had to try and cut away the myth from the reality. . . . The truth about pirates was very hard to find, buried deep in dusty court records, newspapers, letters, and reports. What emerged was a very different kind of pirate from those we had become accustomed to.