Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $21.95
  • Save: $5.86 (27%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
Only 20 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
The Sea Rover's Practice:... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Like New
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 all 3 images

The Sea Rover's Practice: Pirate Tactics and Techniques, 1630-1730 Paperback – January 15, 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$16.09
$12.89 $7.70

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
$16.09 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 20 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Sea Rover's Practice: Pirate Tactics and Techniques, 1630-1730
  • +
  • A General History of the Pyrates (Dover Maritime)
  • +
  • Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates
Total price: $43.29
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Review

"This book on Golden Age piracy is as lively as its subject matter...With considerable gusto and an impressive understanding of the strategies of violence at sea, the author explores the material practices of piracy from the beginning to the end of a voyage."
--Claire Jowitt, Nottingham Trent University, The Historian, Summer 2008


". . . .rich in colourful detail, and displays impressive knowledge of sailing and fighting skills."
--Richard Hill, The Naval Review, August 2007


"Be prepared--after reading only a few pages--to feel the wind in your face and taste the salt air."
--Jack A. Gottschalk, Naval War College Review, Autumn 2006


"[An] author of truly heroic status...a book without precedent--a small tome of combat knowledge as it applies to our pirate forebears. . . . It's one thing for a historian to write about old naval tactics. It's quite another when that historian is a former Navy SEAL. . . . A truly exceptional book."
--Bilgemunky.com, 2006


"[Little's] unique insight gives us a truly practical guide on the strategies and techniques used by the successful pirate or privateer... If I were headed out a-rovin' and were allowed only one book in my sea bag, this would be the one I'd bring."
--Michael MacLeod, No Quarter Given


"Rich in colourful detail, and displays impressive knowledge of sailing and fighting skills."—Naval Review
(Naval Review 2007-09-07)

“This book on Golden Age piracy is as lively as its subject matter…With considerable gusto and an impressive understanding of the strategies of violence at sea, the author explores the material practices of piracy from the beginning to the end of a voyage. Little’s book is particularly strong in its description of the armaments and tactics of warfare at sea…The scholarship is also strong...Little’s achievement in The Sea Rover’s Practice is a considerable one; this well-priced and absorbing book allows the reader to appreciate the terms of engagement, and the stakes, in the much romanticized but little understood phenomena of early modern piracy.”—The Historian
(The Historian 2008-07-10)

"As colorful as a Howard Pyle illustration and as compelling as an Errol Flynn film, The Sea Rover's Practice belongs on anyone’s short list of useful scholarship on the great age of piracy. Based largely on first-person accounts, the book provides a trustworthy description of how pirates, filibusters, buccaneers, and privateers went about their business, from planning and recruiting, through chasing, engaging, and boarding, to dividing the spoils. One of the many intriguing facts to be gleaned, for instance, is the origins of the practice of ‘small plunder by custom’ that continued to be included in the privateering articles of agreement of later eras. The reader, entertained as well as informed, is likely to have nearly as much fun reading this book as the author appears to have had in writing it."—Michael J. Crawford, naval historian and editor of The Autobiography of a Yankee Mariner: Christopher Prince and the American Revolution
(Michael J. Crawford)

"A remarkably complete analysis of methods used in piracy, especially in Europe and America, during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The book is based on solid research and is especially valuable for understanding the language and literature of the subject. It includes useful notes and bibliographies and is a highly recommended reference work for both general and specialized libraries."—Norman J. W. Thrower, professor emeritus of geography at UCLA, and author of Maps and Civilization: Cartography in Culture and Society
(Norman J. W. Thrower)

"Benerson Little brings a unique and powerful perspective--that of a scholarly former U.S. Navy SEAL--to a fascinating subject. The result is a remarkable book that casts much new light on the sea rovers of the Age of Sail."—Frank Sherry, author of Raiders and Rebels: The Golden Age of Piracy
(Frank Sherry)

"[The Sea Rover's Practice] will be of high interest to the maritime spectrum, from armchair sailors to admirals. . . . Within the book's well documented twenty-three chapters, Little provides fascinationg material on pirate personalities and their lives both ashore and at sea. . . This is a really good book. Be prepared--after reading only a few pages--to feel the wind in your face and taste the salt air."—Naval War College Review
(Naval War College Review)

From the Publisher

"As colorful as a Howard Pyle illustration and as compelling as an Errol Flynn film."—Michael J. Crawford, naval historian and editor of The Autobiography of a Yankee Mariner: Christopher Prince and the American Revolution

"A remarkable book that casts much new light on the sea rovers of the Age of Sail." — Frank Sherry, author of Raiders and Rebels: The Golden Age of Piracy

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books; New Ed edition (January 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574889117
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574889116
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #254,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Gareth Thomas on September 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
For those who love historical texts, but sometimes have a hard time weeding thru the period language, overly technical jargon and miles of microfiche, this book is a real blessing. The author not only deals with the methods of tracking, chasing and boarding prey, but goes happily in-depth about the people who follow the "sweet trade". He covers the buccaneer lifestyle on land as well as at sea, the events leading up to their rise in influence in the Caribbean, and goes into clothing, food, religion, heirarchy, weapons, flags,choice of ships and cultural relationships.

I picked up this book primarily to confirm or disprove my theories on individual weapons combat during boarding actions and while the techniques are not played up in any great detail,citing the use of powder and grenades over cutlass and knife, the reasonings behind what weapons were used and how unorthodox hand to hand combat could be in closed quarters are sound.

Overall a very enjoyable and informative book!

Gareth Thomas

Director; Historical Maritime Combat Association
Comment 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
This is a great backgrounder on what really was behind the privateers, buccaneers / boucaniers, filibusters / flibustier, and pirates. Focusing on a hundred year period beginning in 1630, the former Navy SEAL draws on contemporary diaries and books to describe everything from the background, motivation, tactics, equipment, and even an appendix on drinks. The reality of the sea rover's tactics are in stark contrast to the image of the Hollywood pirate. The reality were crews and officers operating under very democratic rules and performing complex operations seeking to maximize effort (return on investment).

Appropriate to the modern era of small wars? Little generally leaves it to the reading to connect to the present (absent a rare couple of modern analogies in the book), except for one paragraph at the end:

"Whatever their vices, weaknesses, and moral ambiguities, these buccaneers have in common with most sea rovers several tactical virtues, including innovation, loyalty, perseverance, adaptability, and courage. Collectively, they prove that a loose, uncentralized, and informal network can conduct significant, complex military operations. They show the effect that an irregular force can have on the resources of a powerful state, causing great economic damage and tying down significant forces. And, most importantly, they demonstrate that elements of broadly divergent and disparate cultures, races, nationalities, classes, professions, and personalities can act as one with a common goal."

My brief comments here don't do the book justice. The amount of detail Little puts in this book is sometimes mind boggling, not to say amazing. This is not a book that only looks at the past but has surprising applicability to modernity.

I have found it particularly useful in supporting various arguments about privatization of force as well as insurgent warfare.
Comment 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mr. Little, an experienced "rover" himself from his time in the USN SEALs, does this topic justice in his book. Well and exhaustively researched, this book gives a great peek into the reality of the pirate/privateer life that is so often romanticized in book and film.

Every aspect of the sea rovers' life is placed before the reader, from seamanship to boarding tactics, to life on shore after a successful cruise. In the back of the book, you can find statistics for firearms and great guns, several glosseries for ships and people, and even some simple recipies buccaneers would have used.

The only minor quibble I might have is that the style of the writing can seem stilted and list like, but that was not frequent and did not detract from my enjoyment of the work.

This is a must read for anyone with an interest in maratime history or pirates.
Comment 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
"The Sea Rover's Practice: Pirate Tactics and Techniques, 1630-1730" by Benerson Little is a great reference tool for anyone interested in the in-depth details of how buccaneers, privateers, and pirates of the West Indies commanded and conquered.

Do not expect a storyline or biographies in this book. It is solely about tactics, as stated in the subtitle. Each section is filled with detail after fascinating detail about pirate battle strategies. You get a real understanding of why a pirate would, for instance, chose a particular weapon to use during the boarding of a ship, examining everything from the weapon's overall capacity to maim to the sturdiness of the materials used to construct it.

The book's first chapter talks of greed and desperation and the last chapter covers dying by the sword. In between, you learn about pirate ships, recruiting, arms used in close combat, watches, flags, cruising strategies, mutiny, broadsiding, pirate tricks, and many other topics. There are also appendices with items like pirate vocabulary and recipes, as well as illustrations depicting weapons (guns, swords, cannons, etc.) and the best boarding positions.

Altogether, the book is easy to read, thorough, and loaded with information. I definitely recommend it to those who want to learn more about the real pirates of the Caribbean.

For those who prefer biographies (or less strategy and more story), read David Cordingly's "Under the Black Flag" for an engrossing look at piracy throughout the ages.
Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

The Sea Rover's Practice: Pirate Tactics and Techniques, 1630-1730
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: The Sea Rover's Practice: Pirate Tactics and Techniques, 1630-1730