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Blackbeard: America's Most Notorious Pirate Paperback – April 1, 2007
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
What was most interesting was the privateering influence on the motivation to become a pirate. When countries at war would hire privateers to conduct state-sponsored piracy at sea, was it any wonder that these men who knew little but privateering would turn to piracy once the wars ended and their letters of marque rescinded?
There were interesting details about the sea and navigating the waters in the early 1700's, but at times the book dragged on in details that made it difficult to keep an interest in the subject. It is obvious that the author did a great deal of research and used his expertise in sailing and sea faring to add to the material in the story.
Overall, a 3-star rating is my review of an interesting book that does point out how short-lived the pirate times were in the early 18th century.
Why I take off one star: While this is a very good book, actually only about half the book is about Blackbeard himself. The book really doesn't start talking about Blackbeard as the main topic until about page one hundred (of 300 pages) There are really no swashbuckling tales of grand pirate fights, of trading canon blasts and boarding ships in epic swordfights. Most pirates were just actually gangs of thugs who used boats as their vehicles and canons as their means of intimidation. They scared and cowed their victims into submission, and were sensible enough to run when the force of authority came into view. The book is more about the business, conditions, and times of piracy, then of the individual pirates themselves and any great seafaring stories. Therefore, the real story is a lot less than the often romanticized tales of piracy. There's actually less interesting material to craft a story than one would expect.
The most compelling moment in the book is near the end, when Blackbeard meets the might of her Majesties Royal Navy. Standing up to the fight, this is a Hollywood scene when Blackbeard engages his opponents in a ship vs. ship battle.Read more ›
I'll say that aside from reading books like Pirates! from the author I was not familiar with his writing at all. But after opening this book and beginning to read through it I was pleased that it wasn't going to be a dry historical reference. Most books based on history are very drawn out and boring. You often times get a lot of names, dates, and the addition of useless information pushed into one another and can get confused. This book has a decent narrative that slowly introduces new characters and then covers them fairly well.
Now the biggest problem I had with this book is that it's so broad. The book is titled Blackbeard... but can often go pages without mentioning him. You end learning about Pirate history or the background of a particular ship before you get to the meat and potatoes of what Blackbeard had to do with what you're reading about. For someone wanting to learn more about the Pirate culture and history it was a treat for me. But, for the average reader who might want to know about Blackbeard specifically... this can mislead them.
The second problem we're faced with (at no fault of the author) is the lack of information/resources. There really isn't a whole lot of information on the man (Teach). You have your sources like Captain Johnson (who we don't even know the background of), news articles (who let's face it... often embellish on facts to make their stories more interesting), and government documents (which can be edited as well).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's alright. I should have purchased the book by Robert Louis Stevenson.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Very fascinating book, lots of in site knowledge and keeps you interestedPublished on July 5, 2014 by md_procouple
The book is well written but since so much of Blackbeard's life is unknown the book is full of known references of contemporary pirates' exploits. It is definitely worth reading.Published on March 29, 2014 by H. Joe Thompson