David Cordingly's "Under the Black Flag, The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates" constitutes the best researhed book on pirate history I have ever read. The information provided about the lives of this notorious anti-heroes, the reality of the life among them and the world of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries is amazingly accurate, and backed up with an extensive bibliography and footnotes. For those interested in pirate history throughout the ages, and specially the Golden Age of Piracy, this book constitutes a fundamental tool for understanding the pirate reality. When uncovering how the real people like Edward Teach and Calico Jack were, this book has no equal. Cordingly separates the myths from the real individuals behind them, proving that the reality is much more interesting than the romance, when uncovered. At the same time, the author discusses how the myths surrounding Blackbeard, the Women Pirates or Kidd's treasure, were formed and have survived through the years, becoming important elements of popular culture. Cordingly establishes why in our hearts, pirates were not sadistic villans, but rather "...romantic outlaws living far from civilization on some distant sunny shore," something most of us would dream to be.