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The Pirate Hunter: The True Story of Captain Kidd Hardcover – June 5, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From The New Yorker
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
The book's other main character is the despicable Robert Culliford, an actual pirate who betrayed Kidd twice and whose fate was tied closely to the Captain. Culliford's villany stands in sharp contrast to Kidd, giving the story a strong counterpoint.
Along the way Zacks, who demonstrates himself to be a meticulous researcher, paints a vivid portrait of the lives of sailors and pirates during the period. Zacks's authentic descriptions of what it was like to be a real life pirate bears little resemblence to the modern literary and cinematic stereotypes. His prose is vivid and highly readable, and the book feels more like a novel than a work of history as a result. My only quibble is the Zacks occasionally gets a little TOO bogged down in the details, as evidenced by the narrative's 400 plus pages.
Nevertheless, overall "The Pirate Hunter" is an excellent read for those who enjoy nautical history tales.
Kidd was no pirate, but a privateer, recruited by powerful Lords and merchants to rob from the pirates that had robbed from the merchants. He had a secret commission from King William III himself, who privately took a ten percent share of any profits that Kidd might come up with. Kidd sailed on _Adventure Galley_, a three-master built in England and launched in 1696 specifically for Kidd's mission, with a crew of 150. Many of the crew had been pirates themselves, and Kidd was putting himself in an uncomfortable management position. He had nothing but bad luck in finding pirates to rob, but even before he did so, rumors of his being a pirate himself had sprung up. After his crew mutinied, he tried to return to his home in New York, but discovered to his surprise that he was the most wanted man in America. He sneaked back towards New York, and in another unpiratical act, sought the help of his lawyer.Read more ›
The frustrating thing is that this book is only the opening statement; we never hear from the witnesses. The book is full of passages that amount to "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you will hear testimony proving . . . ." And the illustrations, bibliography, and parts of the text suggest that Zacks probably has found the evidence somewhere to back up at least some of his assertions. But in the entire book there is not a single footnote, and almost never does Zacks reveal what source he is relying on for any particular claim.
I come to the book as a biased reader. I have studied the Golden Age of Piracy for almost ten years, and my long-formed conclusion is that Kidd was in fact a pirate, even though his trial was monstrously unfair in many ways.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was an informative, non-fiction, account of the exploits of the privateer William Kidd. At times the story dragged on a little, but mostly it read like an adventure novel. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Stillworking
I really enjoyed this book. I never knew the story of Capt. Kidd, I found it very interesting and learned not just Capt. Read morePublished 3 months ago by M. Marino
Forget what you know of pirates and in particular Captain Kidd. Used by the King and wealthy to do their bidding and then when they are about to be called out turn in Kidd. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Ed Nelson
I had always lumped Kidd in with Blackbeard and similar rogues. It seems Kidd was a victim of a mutinous crew and a further victim of crooked politicians of the time. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Ralph Saville
This Is a highly detailed and scholarly study of a person and his times. The culture, technology, governance, jurisprudence, and so much more is brought to the stalwart reader. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jerry K
Great read. You'll also get a little history lesson on why folks left England to come to America.Published 6 months ago by P E R