Description The untold story of a heroic band of Caribbean pirates whose defiance of imperial rule inspired revolt in colonial outposts across the world.
In the early 18th century, the Pirate Republic was home to some of the great pirate captains, including Blackbeard, "Black Sam" Bellamy, and Charles Vane. Along with their fellow pirates - former sailors, indentured servants, and runaway slaves - this "Flying Gang" established a crude but distinctive democracy in the Bahamas, carving out their own zone of freedom in which servants were free, blacks could be equal citizens, and leaders were chosen or deposed by a vote. They cut off trade routes, sacked slave ships, and severed Europe from its New World empires. And for a brief, glorious period, the Republic was a success.
This book had been lingering in my "to read" list for a while and finally, with the introduction of Audible Plus (see our blog!), I could get it for nothing without following the pirates' life!
This book is billed as "Being the True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates and the Man Who Brought Them Down" told the story of many of the pirates I've come to know through the TV show "Black Sails", which surprised me as I'd not looked too hard into the show and assumed it was all fiction.
But no, Charles Vane, Blackbeard, Jack Rackham, Anne Bonny, and the rest were all real pirates marauding the Caribbean during the "Golden Age of Piracy" which to my even greater surprise is generally just the years between 1650 and 1730.
The author, Colin Woodard, spins a fantastic recount of the life and times of a number of pirates I could picture in my mind (probably incorrectly since they were the actors from Black Sails, but anyway...)
The subtitle "Being the true..." was an interesting choice, since the use of "likely", "probably", "may have" and other such statement qualifiers were used heavily throughout, but without any official records it stands to reason a lot of guesswork is needed.
The narration was excellent, with Lewis Grenville lending an air of gravitas to the story being told. Easy to listen to, and a perfect fit for the book.
Certainly a good listen if you're interested in the history of piracy, made easier by knowing a lot of the major players already thanks to TV.