Bandits at Sea: A Pirates Reader (Paperback)

Bandits at Sea: A Pirates Reader By C. R. Pennell (Editor) Cover Image

Bandits at Sea: A Pirates Reader (Paperback)

By C. R. Pennell (Editor)


Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days

Dispelling the romanticized myths surrounding pirates, Pennell's edited collection provides a corrective history of bandits at sea

The romantic fiction of pirates as swashbuckling marauders terrorizing the high seas has long eclipsed historical fact. Bandits at Sea offers a long-overdue corrective to the mythology and the mystique which has plagued the study of pirates and served to deny them their rightful legitimacy as subjects of investigation.

With essays by the foremost scholars on these countercultural "social bandits," as Lingua Franca recently dubbed them, this collection examines various aspects of the phenomenon in the three main areas where it occurred: the Caribbean/Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and East Asia. We come to understand who pirates were, as well as the socio-economic contexts under which they developed and flourished.

Comparisons between various types of piracy illustrate differences in practice and purpose between pirates of different areas; social histories, including examinations of women pirates and their historical significance and circumstances, offer similar insight into the personal lives of pirates from diverse regions. Far from serving as dens of thieves, pirate ships were often highly regulated microcosms of democracy. The crews of pirate vessels knew that majority rule, racial equality and equitable division of spoils were crucial for their survival, marking them as significantly more liberal than national governments.

Scholars, students and a general audience ever intrigued by tales and now truths of piracy on the high seas will welcome Bandits at Sea.
C. R. Pennell is al-Tajir Lecturer in Middle East History and Senior Lecturer at the University of Melbourne and author of Morocco since 1830, also available from NYU Press.
Product Details ISBN: 9780814766781
ISBN-10: 0814766781
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication Date: April 1st, 2001
Pages: 360
Language: English