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A History of Pirates: Blood and Thunder on the High Seas
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A History of Pirates: Blood and Thunder on the High Seas

3.24 of 5 stars 3.24  ·  rating details  ·  126 ratings  ·  10 reviews
This book looks at the reality behind the legends of Blackbeard, Calico Jack Rackham and several other cutthroats who sailed the high seas. It portrays the pirates, their weapons, ships, hideouts...and their victims.
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published January 15th 2004 by Booksales (first published September 1st 2003)
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Instead of a riveting, informative narrative, "History of Pirates" is a disorganized and barely readable clump of anecdotes. Some topics are better fleshed out than others, but the overall book suffers from poor writing, an inattention to detail and an unbelievable number of typos. Now I know why it was relegated to the bargain bin where I found it in Greenwich, England a few years ago. Useful as a reference, but a disappointing read.
Lexie Gorjanc
Lots of spelling and grammatical errors - but otherwise a good book :)
Feb 16, 2013 Starbubbles rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: history
This book was awful. And yes, I was full of aw (the origin of awful) in how heinous this book was. I cringe at the thought of it being read by others and thought of as a creditable history. I am not saying the information was falsified, but it was not cited, at all. There were no footnotes, annotated bibliography, or any bibliography for that fact. Most historians will cite their work unless they are from the turn of the twentieth century or before, or are extremely established in their specialt ...more
An interesting read. The author focuses mainly on the French and English privateers of the Caribbean, the ones who operated with letters of marque from their goverment's officials against the Spanish. I find it intriguing that these pirates operated in a very democratic manner, and that "the pirate life" was in many cases preferred to the life at sea normally offered. Being a Floridian and somewhat versed in the Spanish history of the state, I did not know that there was originally a fort (Fort ...more
I read the first 30 pages and had to put it down. It reads like a 4th grader's book report, complete with random statements and incorrect word usage. I have a minor obsession with pirates, and I was looking forward to learning more, but this book was sadly lacking. Very disappointing.
Adam Fleming
Pretty interesting book that gives you the straight dope on various pirates throughout history. It paints a picture that's hardly like Capt. Jack Sparrow, and more like a bunch of guys who were normal guys for the most part; they just broke the law every once in a while.
Dec 12, 2008 Holly is currently reading it
This is a good history of pirates book, although a little random in it's facts. Nigel Cawthorne is an expert in the subject, but not always great at stringing his sentences in a completely coherent manner.
This book reads more like a list than a book. Not nearly enough detail where there should be, and far too much of it where there shouldn't be. Badly needed an editor.
The information was good. I just didn't enjoy the choppy way the information was presented. And he needed another edit before he published it.
Argh, matey, here be true stories of the pirates.
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Nigel Cawthorne is an Anglo-American writer of fiction and non-fiction, and an editor. He has written more than 80 books on a wide range of subjects and has contributed to The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph Daily Mail and The New York Times. He has appeared on television and BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Many of Nigel Cawthorne's books are compilations of popular history, without footnotes, referen
More about Nigel Cawthorne...
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