The Pirates of Somalia: Inside Their Hidden World and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$11.33
Qty:1
  • List Price: $15.95
  • Save: $4.62 (29%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Pirates of Somalia: Inside Their Hidden World Paperback – August 21, 2012


See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$11.33
$7.58 $6.94

Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of January
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.


Frequently Bought Together

The Pirates of Somalia: Inside Their Hidden World + A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea
Price for both: $22.07

Buy the selected items together
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (August 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307476561
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307476562
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #527,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Brave and exhaustively reported. . . . Bahadur has gone deep in exploring the causes of this seaborne crime wave.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Bahadur has borne witness and seen what no other journalist has seen. He has peeked behind the curtain of the pirates of Somalia in their faraway tribal homelands . . . and lived to tell about it.” —The Boston Globe
 
“A fascinating narrative that opens a hitherto largely unknown world to a wider audience.” —San Francisco Chronicle
 
"An illuminating guide. . . . Bahadur has probably spent more time with Somali pirates than just about any other Western researcher or writer.” —The New Republic

“A first-of-its kind book. . . . Takes readers through the evolution of the pirate groups from garrulous, self-proclaimed vigilantes who claim they are protecting Somalia’s waters from illegal fishing vessels to the deadly criminal gangs they are today.” —Associated Press
 
“Convincing. . . . In Bahadur’s telling, the fractured, tribal governance of Somalia’s territories is almost unbelievable in its dysfunction. And the year-by-year evolution of Somalian piracy is mesmerizing. . . . Look to The Pirates of Somalia for an aggregation
of all the news stories about this phenomenon over the past four years, with the additional, intimate layer—stories of the pirates from the pirates themselves—that no one else was reckless enough to get.” —The Plain Dealer
 
“This vivid and intelligent study of Somali pirates uncovers the reckless men behind the nation’s most lucrative business. . . . A
balanced and fascinating portrait.” —The Sunday Times (London)
 
“An insightful report. . . . Revelatory journalism and astute analysisof causes and solutions that prove far more informative than any
TV footage about the contemporary piracy problem.” —Booklist
 
“An engaging account, full of solid analysis. . . . What’s especially impressive (aside from Bahadur’s sheer nerve in insinuating himself among these dangerous men in a lawless corner of the world) is the amassing of multiple perspectives—of pirates and policymakers— that support a rich, suspenseful account.” —Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Jay Bahadur’s articles have appeared in The Times (London), The New York Times, the Financial Times, and The Globe and Mail (Toronto). He has advised the United States State Department and has worked as a freelance correspondent for CBS News. Bahadur currently lives in Nairobi, where he works as managing editor of the news site Somalia Report.

www.jaybahadur.com
Twitter: @PuntlandPirates


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

I highly recommend the book to anyone interested in the subject.
P. Meltzer
Mr. Bahadur not only interviews various pirate leaders, he even interviewed some Romanian sailors who were on the MV Victoria, one of ships the pirates hijacked.
Chanley M. Mohney
Kudos to Bahadur for a beautifully written, well researched book.
kevinw9

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By kevinw9 on August 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Jay Bahadur's "The Pirates of Somalia" is a incredible work of non-fiction. There are actually two stories told in this book. The first is a fascinating look into the history of what may be the most failed of "failed states" on the planet and the piracy scourge that has developed on its shores. Understanding piracy must be understood within the context of the country as a whole and Bahadur does a great job of explaining this. The inside look into pirate gangs, pirate leaders, hostages, politicians and others provides a viewpoint not available elsewhere. But the second story, and equally intriguing, is about a Canadian rookie journalist flying to Somalia on a whim, when no other reporter would do so, with a half-baked plan to embed himself with marine kidnappers for a few months - not something you hear about often.

Kudos to Bahadur for a beautifully written, well researched book. Enjoyed every page.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Todd Thompson on August 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Article first published as Book Review: The Pirates of Somalia: Inside Their Hidden World by Jay Bahadur on Blogcritics.

Far from being a romanticized history, The Pirates of Somalia by Jay Bahadur is a new (July, 2011) and important book about the pirates themselves, giving readers a full-color view of their origin, their clannish culture, and their motives.

Bahadur explains through his bold interviews with financiers and respected leaders that the piracy we currently see in Somalia is a result of an evolutionary process.

Early on, in the mid 1990's, in absence of a coast guard, Somali fishermen vigilantes, determined to protect their livelihood, began seizing the assets of small commercial fishing boats, in essence levying on them a tax of sorts for the offender's intrusion into their national waters.

By the mid-2000's, as Bahadur explains, these same operations became big businesses. No longer a defensive measure alone pirating became profitable and drew attention from other sectors of Somali culture.

In the "third wave" opportunism matured, attracting among others "disaffected youth from the large inland nomad population." This group, while echoing the "worn-out mantra" of the legacy they inherited, has lost the "brooding introspection" possessed by the older fishermen vigilantes who chose the route of piracy as a means of forcing justice in absence of a government authority. It is this third wave that has extended their reach into the high seas targeting large commercial trade ships for multi-million dollar ransoms.

In the conclusion of his book, Bahadur proposes actions which the international community might take to offer a "pragmatic mitigation" of piracy, a term he uses instead of "elimination.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Ron Walsh on August 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I saw the author plugging the book on the Daily Show, and having studied the pirates and their operations while serving as an Intelligence Specialist in the Marine Corps, I can tell you that this is a great book that gives insight to the how's and why's the pirates do what they do.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on September 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Few places are more uninviting than Somalia, a lawless 'failed state' gripped by the worst drought in 60 years. Jay Bahadur, a young Canadian, quit his job writing market-research reports and flew to the center of piracy in northeastern Somalia to pursue his dream of being a journalist. Wisely he had previously arranged for a local sponsor (Mahamad Farole, son of the new president of Puntland, a Somalian state) to both provide safeguarding and introductions to local pirates - otherwise his story, at best, would have simply been one of being kidnapped and held for ransom. Bahadur further ingratiated himself to the locals by adopting some of their customs - most notably the chewing of 'khat,' a mild cocaine-like leaf grown in Africa and selling for about $20/kilo, roughly a day's supply.

Khat produces mild euphoria, and a belief that one is invincible and superhuman. Downsides include tooth decay, decreased liver function, and depression after withdrawal. The leaves' ability to create a narcotic effect is time limited - thus fresh supplies are flown in daily from Kenya and Ethiopia.

Local pirates told Bahadur that their forays started in the mid-1990s when Chinese, Taiwanese, and Korean fishing trawlers began using steel-pronged drag fishing nets to wipe out their lobsters and their breeding grounds. The first piracy raids were retaliatory - capturing foreign fishing vessels, keeping the catch, and ransoming the crew. However, by 1997 the foreign fishing fleets began obtaining protection contracts with local warlords who provided armed guards and anti-aircraft guns. So the early pirates then began pursuing commercial cargo ships, identifiable by the cranes on their decks and much slower speeds (supertankers ran at about 10 mph) vs. tourist ships.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Joel R. VINE VOICE on September 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The word "pirates" evokes images of bearded men, eye patches, parrots, and 18th century sailing vessels. Nothing could be further from the truth of the AK-47 toting pirates operating today in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. Jay Bahadur offers an unprecedented perspective on the modern pirate organizations operating out of the less governed regions of Somalia. Once his patience waiting for proper introduction to a Somalia "pirate" paid off, Bahadur was able to learn from an insider the whys and hows piracy came to be.

Bahadur provides the reader with a primer on the history of piracy in the waters surrounding Somalia. While he recognizes his indebtedness to the information in Stig Jarle Hansen's "Piracy in the Greater Gulf of Aden", Bahadur provides a much richer (and readable) version of events. With that being said, Bahadur does not objectively examine the Somalia pirate's motivation for piracy. Universally, the pirates claim illegal fishing as the reason for turning to piracy. However, the first recorded attacks in 1991 were against cargo ships sailing into Mogadishu - it's hard to support the statement that illegal fishing was the initial reason, but the first targets were commercial cargo vessels whose cargo was stolen and resold on the black market. Interestingly, he identifies that the "illegal fishing" excuse is a myth in the epilogue of the book - not in the section entitled "myths".

The author does an outstanding job of covering the history of Somali and International efforts to establish a coast guard to combat piracy in the waters. Bahadur discusses the concepts of licensing fishing vessels (and security forces), and how these efforts eventually failed.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews