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Patriot Pirates: The Privateer War for Freedom and Fortune in the American Revolution [NOOK Book]
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Patriot Pirates: The Privateer War for Freedom and Fortune in the American Revolution [NOOK Book]

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3.34 of 5 stars 3.34  ·  rating details  ·  137 ratings  ·  31 reviews
They were legalized pirates empowered by the Continental Congress to raid and plunder, at their own considerable risk, as much enemy trade as they could successfully haul back to America's shores; they played a central role in American's struggle for independence and later turned their seafaring talents to the slave trade; embodying the conflict between enterprise and mora ...more
ebook, 195 pages
Published May 20th 2008 by Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group (first published January 1st 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 352)
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Evan Brandt
So the book had interesting tid-bits, but was organized in a bit of a haphazard manner.
But my god, the story it told of two people you never hear about, who got screwed over by someone else you've never heard of.
Sever hear of a guy named Silas Deane?
Probably not, but he was nearly as important as Franklin in getting the French on board. Fronted his own money to ship supplies to the U.S. that ultimately resulted in us winning the crucial battle of Saratoga.
But a jerk named Arthur Lee, brother of
...more
Tony
Patton, Robert H. PATRIOT PIRATES. (2008). ****. Would you believe that many of our well-known families of today got their start – and their money – by participating in piracy during the Revolutionary War? True. The author (the grandson of WWII’s General Patton, and the author of a prize-winning biography of him) presents his case on a state-by-state basis in a chronological manner of what was going on during the Revolution on the seas surrounding our country and in those surrounding England and ...more
Jerome
Interesting and thoroughly researched , Patton provides a solid history of continental privateers, and does a good job weaving in related topics like the international intrigue between Britain, the colonies, and the European powers.

Patton shows that those in Congress were usually in favor of the practice of privateering (often supporting it financially while condemning it in speech) and it was their shady activities that helped privateering be so profitable. A side argument is that it was privat
...more
Rick
This book reminded me of the complexity surrounding the American Revolution. The conflict wasn't limited to the 13 Colonies, but extended to the Caribbean, the British Isles and other areas where British merchantmen sailed, making them vulnerable to privateers. Nearly every nation engaged in privateering during this time, making the seas unsafe almost anyone except the grandest of warship convoys. While not all risked their lives solely out of patriotic duty, the privateers' efforts sapped Engli ...more
Kory Klimoski
I love the Revolutionary War period. This book provides a fairly detailed history of how the Americans conducted naval warfare and Privateer operations during the war. The author goes in to great detail about operations and how they affected the outcome of the war. He told the story from all sides, Naval commanders, The British and the Allies that were supporting America. Very well written and thought out.
Jack Hwang
After finishing this book, the readers cannot help but wondering how America could have possibly come out victorious in the American Revolution War. Everything was done haphazardly. The elites of the colonies put the self-interest before the public interest and no one really blamed them. For the few people trying to advance the cause, they faced jealousy, blackmails, and smear, that lead to the impairment of their reputations.

From all the collected anecdotes, I can say the author has done a very
...more
Chris
Patriot Pirates could have been an excellent book with some editing, and an organizational structure. It covers an aspect of the Revolutionary War that I knew little about—the use of privateers to acquire war material, influence international opinion, and make congress some much needed money. The fights between various American diplomats and historical figures outshine the fights at sea (although there are plenty of those as well) and overall, this book is certainly worthwhile. The main problem ...more
Dale
A tedious listen.

9 CDs
10.5 hours
Read by Alan Sklar


I am an avid reader of history. I also enjoy listening to histories as part of my daily commute. I thought Patriot Pirates would be a fantastic diversion since I knew relatively little about the naval history of the Revolutionary War besides the story of Bonhomme Richard and the fact that there were privateers.

Unfortunately, Patton's dry, overly wordy text coupled with Alan Sklar's (the narrator) ironic, almost mocking tone made me both both
...more
Jrohde
well written history of the role of privateers in the US history - I had not imagined the important role private initiative (and greed) played in the vistory over the British in the revolution. Without this amazing fleet of brave - often reckless - men we'd have lost the war. A fun read and informative. reflects a lot on the role of Robert Morris the financier of the Revolution - who is an ancestor of Candy - an added interest.
David R.
Patton does a remarkable job of researching and organizing material on the little-remembered privateer force employed by the rebelling American colonies. While the material is thought provoking the writing is a bit dry at times. Patton does breath some life into various players, and a good deal of attention is paid to Silas Deane and the New England mercantile establishment. A must-read for students of the Revolution.
Teresa
I learned things about Benjamin Franklin, the Lee family and the Adams family that I never knew.
Wanda
Jun 19, 2014 Wanda marked it as to-read
19 JUN 2014 -- cover love -- positively!
msdanconia
Patton's history of the American privateers during the American Revolution is gripping and humanizing, offering a glimpse of life between the great histories into the lives of actual privateers. He did distance this reader, however, by disclosing his disinterest in the Revolution at the start of the book. His contention that the Revolution does not seem composed of real people smacks of someone who has not spent much time learning about the Revolution, in books or otherwise, and instead of recog ...more
Rob
More than a story of privateering derring-do, and with skimpy details on actual naval engagements, this book is a history of the mixture of greed and patriotism that fueled many of the para-military exploits of the American War of Independence. While unsurprising, learning of the depth of the pecuniary interest amongst many colonists stands as a helpful corrective to the hagiographic virtue portrayed to us as impressionable schoolchildren.
Karl
Occasionally fascinating but never worth it. A semi-chronological string of facts that only sometimes have to do with each other and are almost never arranged into any sort of storyline. I was all stoked because the reviews promised 'hornblower but for real'... it reads more like Horatios's backed up and half remembered paperwork.

Patton takes great care to write every sentence in the most obfuscating, confusing word order possible while remaining in the realm of technically correct grammar.


Over
...more
Rachael
As much as I would love to get into this book for the subject matter alone, the authors writing style is sadly made up on the most wordy and confusing sentences. Sadly, too dry to make it past page 70 for me which is a shame because it promises good things.
Christian
Interesting topic, but just awkwardly constructed (it's chronological ... sort of). Noteworthy for being generous in its appraisal of Silas Deane (Arthur Lee still treated shabbily, though). Too many embedded quotes. Unless you're a huge naval fan, you can give this one a pass.

Note: even though the author has no issue discussing land-based issues that touch on his theme, he pretty much ignores John Paul Jones except for when he interacts with the other major players in this book.
Martha
Very interesting. I am always into books on the American Revolution. It tells the story of the privateers in the American Revolution that were empowered by the Continental Congress. It details how these individuals profited from these deals, some of which were corrupt. I recommend it for anyone that wants to read about the great sea battles of this period.
Robert
A little hard to read but a very fascinating view on the importance of pirates in the founding of the United States. It shows how many important issues pertaining to freedom were resolved with the aid and help of piracy. Very well worth reading...especially in today's political climate.
Motorcycle
Well written, but not super memorable. Reminds me of the end of "Killing Them Softly", where Brad Pitt says America isn't a democracy, it's a business. They sell you on the patriotism thing, but a lot of these guys' motivation was financial. I guess that's harder to put in a parade.
Ellis
May 12, 2009 Ellis marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, nonfiction, war
Before reading:
I heard an interview with the author of this book last night. This book tells about the important work of American patriots who essentially operated as pirates in order to weaken the dominant British navy during the Revolutionary War.
Marianne
I listened to the audio book. I wish the book was more linear. The author jumped back and forth in time too much. But I did learn about a part of the Revolutionary War that I hadn't known about before.
David
This may be the driest book with the word "Pirate" in the title that has ever been written. I couldn't finish it. I have read approximately 130 histories/biographies this year and I couldn't make it through half of this.
Colin
A moderately interesting book on the history of privateers during the American Revolution. The chapters relating to Rhode Island were the most interesting to me - especially the burning of the Gaspee!
Nance
Wow! I never before learned about the Navy during the Revolution--or better yet the that many Patriots were pirates. The line between a Privateer and a pirate is very thin.
Joe
Good book about American Privateers in the revolutionary war. The was a little too detail about financial dealings and other side issues but it was still enjoyable.
Charles
Mar 10, 2012 Charles marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I love this topic, but the writing in this book is so dry and boring that I couldn't make it through the first chapter. Maybe I'll try again someday.
Jim
very good so far about privateers' roles in american revolution
Wisteria Leigh
signed,American history,American Revolution,
Ted Compton
Good story, not well written.
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