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The Buccaneers of America
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The Buccaneers of America

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  259 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
A cross between genuine privateers, commissioned to defend a country's colonies and trade, and outright pirates, buccaneers were largely English, French, and Dutch adventurers who plied the waters among the Caribbean Islands and along the coasts of Central America, Venezuela, and Colombia more than 300 years ago. The activities of these bands of plundering sea rovers reach ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 26th 2000 by Dover Publications (first published 1678)
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The publisher was sued by Captain Henry Morgan (Yes, THAT Captain Morgan) for his portrayal in this book.
Kagan McLeod
Jun 28, 2012 Kagan McLeod rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Repetitive with the looting and pillaging, and peppered with lengthy descriptions of new world fauna and fruit. But as far as first-hand accounts of piracy in its golden age, this is one of the oldest and best.
Nov 25, 2016 Mike rated it it was amazing
Lengthy read, mainly because it is written in period language. But a worthwhile read if you're looking for something definitive on pirates during the Golden Age of Piracy.
Great pace throughout, but it does get a little dry towards the end as the author succumbs to sickness and simply shares daily journal entries on direction of travel and weather. But there is a large chunk dedicated to the adventures of some pretty well known pirates - an eye opener to be sure.
Dec 12, 2016 srssll rated it it was ok
A good insight into ye olde days but tough to get around the language. Not quite as free flowing as I'd like, inspired by The Pirate Hunters to read but took too long to finish
Nigel Holloway
Jan 31, 2014 Nigel Holloway rated it really liked it
I first heard the name Alexandre Olivier Exquemelin on New Year’s Day 2008 floating in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. I’d better explain…

The man who introduced us (so to speak) was Professor Roderick McDonald of Rider University (New Jersey).

He had the unenviable task of giving a lecture at 10:00am on New Year’s Day, following the party-to-end-all-parties on board the Queen Mary 2 the previous New Year’s Eve. Using the cunning ploy of calling his lecture ‘Buccaneers and Pirates of the Caribbea
Jan 12, 2015 Evan rated it it was amazing
Interesting! Exquemelin offers a really revealing contemporary history of the buccaneers. It's totally engrossing, horrifying, and sometimes even funny. It digresses almost immediately into anecdotes about plants and wildlife, but I love those narrow glimpses of life in the Caribbean. I love that I now know that the frigate bird pummels other seabirds until they vomit (a prepared meal!) and that the ink derived from genipa fruit disappears after 9 days

Exquemelin's slow descent into first-person
Yan BT
Sep 18, 2016 Yan BT rated it it was ok
Interesting first hand account of someone who spent his time with the pirates. Although, I learned a thing or two, most of the book is very repetitive and not informative. Not a very fun read.
Lothar Krechel
Aug 04, 2011 Lothar Krechel rated it it was amazing
Avast, dun't yer get a'scared of a hist'ry book... - this is not a dry collection of dates and maps, lists and morally raised eyebrows. Yes, it is old, and the language may be funny in places, but it's real life of the pirates, by one who lived among them.

For its age, Exquemelin has an anstoundingly modern and distinctive view on the actions of his employers, not judging them outright or praising them for political reasons, but looking at the men behind the yarn.

You won't find your John Silver o
Mar 06, 2009 Rhiannon rated it it was amazing
Exquemelin is ever-informative, and keeps a quite unbiased account of his time with the buccaneers, often separating them as "the buccaneers" but sometimes slipping into "us". Although he doesn't cover the whole story - how could he? He was only retelling what he saw - this glimpse into the exploits of Morgan and L'Ollonais is at times thrilling, educative, and even laugh-out-loud funny. It has sections taken from letters by important figures of the time, quotes in both French and Spanish, and l ...more
Sep 26, 2015 Coy rated it liked it
This is a journal and reads like one. I prefer historical fiction. I gave it three instead of two stars because I did learn a few things. These pirates were not the romanticized ones we think of in this day and age. They tortured and pillaged as a matter of routine. Some of the book details that but much of the book is detail of the routine such as headings, types of flora and fauna, weather, water depth and wind, which is not the most captivating reading.
Dec 20, 2013 Aarón rated it really liked it
I've read this contemporary account of the Captain Morgan, and let me simply say that history is not accurately depicted in commercials. I don't think Spaniards being strung up by their nutsacks would make for an effective marketing campaign. Edit: I was also interested in learning how delicious was eating a certain species of turtle which I will not spoil here (I think you'll be pleasantly surprised).
Leanne Ritchie
Dec 13, 2015 Leanne Ritchie rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Disturbing non fiction account of the lives of pirates in the Carribean, including Henry Morgan's sacking of Panama. Coupled with Marcus Reddiker's The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea and Peter Leeson's the Invisible Hook, and if you can ignore the brutality of it all, it's a fascinating look at the foundations of the self-organizing, democratic labour movement that would later develop in North America. Let no man be pressed into service.
Mar 12, 2015 Ben rated it really liked it
This is definitely one of those cases where truth is stranger than fiction. The book is full of over-the-top, daring, and true pirate adventures. Yet it also vividly displays their cruelty and evil nature. It moves very quickly and jumps from action to action without being bogged down with long passages at sea.
Steve Brickley
Jul 01, 2015 Steve Brickley rated it really liked it
Supposedly a first hand account of the background, conquests and depravity of the 17th century buccaneers operating in the Caribbean. While translated from Dutch, it reads well and was thoroughly enjoyed.
Sep 11, 2012 Tim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: american-history
A first-hand, and first-rate, account of the Boucaniers of Hispaniola and their transformation into Buccaneers as they raided and plundered the Spanish Main in the unofficial service of the English and French crowns. These were the Blackwater mercenaries of the 17th century.
Rich Hoffman
Sep 06, 2012 Rich Hoffman rated it really liked it
This book is a wonderful way to meet one of my favorite figures in history, Henry Morgan. It was because of this book that the first lawsuit ever over defamation took place between the author Alexandre Exquemelin and Henry Morgan.
Jun 23, 2016 Eric rated it it was ok
A good account of the pirates of the day, considering the rogues of 1640 through 1680. Last third of the book was skimming material, so that is what I did. A dialogue by one who was there. Not unlike reading a diary.
May 18, 2008 Gavin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
The interesting years of the buccaneers, as told by one of them. L'Ollonai and Morgan feature prominently in this account, which is almost certainly one of the main sources for Captain Blood.

I've said before and I'll say again - first hand accounts are best.
Pippi Bluestocking
Apr 29, 2016 Pippi Bluestocking rated it it was amazing
Shelves: misc-non-fiction
This book is AMAZING. I couldn't put it down. First-hand experiences of a buccaneer (part history, part lore, part travel writing) who more than once shows bits of wit that left me in awe. Great read for children too.
Dec 20, 2009 Takipsilim rated it really liked it
Straight from the horse's mouth. A real buccaneer/pirate penned this bestselling memoir of his days in the gory glory age of piracy.
Cammy Lowe
Jan 19, 2016 Cammy Lowe rated it really liked it
I read this book ( published in 1678) because I read Pirate Hunters (which is great). It is a personal account of "pirating" with the Pirates. Fascinating.
Michael Thompson
Apr 17, 2016 Michael Thompson rated it really liked it
If you're researching Pirate life or just like books about Pirates, this is one that should be on your shelf.
Ken Angle
Apr 19, 2009 Ken Angle rated it really liked it
Shelves: caribbean
Looking out of the portals of El Moro @ viejo San Juan whispers of fortunes and empires. The books adds fact to the popular fables. Fills in some of the blanks of history.
Jen O'leary
Jun 07, 2010 Jen O'leary rated it really liked it
At first I thought this was going to be very boring, but it turned out to be very interesting, as the majority of my pirate knowledge is from Disney.
Sep 01, 2008 Glenn rated it really liked it
A simple, but very interesting read, and surprisingly informative about how vile pirates, privateers and buccaneers really were.
Elijah Kinch Spector
Sure, I suppose that for research I could've just bought a paperback instead of this beautiful hardcover with slipcase. But then I wouldn't have also bought it in a cool little bookstore in Dublin.
Gavin rated it really liked it
Apr 27, 2016
Rob Lever
Nov 10, 2012 Rob Lever rated it really liked it
A must read.
David rated it really liked it
Oct 07, 2011
John rated it really liked it
Mar 01, 2013
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Challenge: 50 Books: April Group Read 2: The Buccaneers of America 1 5 Apr 14, 2016 10:21AM  
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Alexandre Olivier Exquemelin (also spelled Esquemeling, Exquemeling, or Oexmelin) was a French writer best known as the author of one of the most important sourcebooks of 17th century piracy, first published in Dutch as De Americaensche Zee-Roovers, in Amsterdam, by Jan ten Hoorn, in 1678.

Born about 1645, it is likely that Exquemelin was a native of Harfleur, France, who on his return from buccane
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