Matthew Taylor Raffety
Shrouded by myth and hidden by Hollywood, the real pirates of the Caribbean come to life in this collection of essays edited by David Head. Twelve scholars of piracy show why pirates thrived in the New World seas of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century empires, how pirates operated their plundering ventures, how governments battled piracy, and when and why piracy declined. The essays presented take the study of piracy, which can easily lapse into rousing, romanticized stories, to new heights of rigor and insight.
The Golden Age of Piracy also delves into the enduring status of pirates as pop culture icons. Audiences have devoured stories about cutthroats such as Blackbeard and Henry Morgan from the time that pirates sailed the sea. By looking at the ideas of gender and sexuality surrounding pirate stories, the fad for hunting pirate treasure, and the construction of pirate myths, the book's contributors tell a new story about the dangerous men, and a few dangerous women, who terrorized the high seas.