Book Review:

If a Pirate I Must Be...
The True Story of Black Bart, King of the Caribbean Pirates
by Richard Sanders

Author: Richard Sanders
Length: 256 pages
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
Genre: Fact
Language: English
ISBN: 1602390193
Rating: Four stars! 4/5 Stars


I have long been under the belief that many of the most dynamic personas of the Golden Age of Piracy are generally overlooked for the "bigger ticket" names. For example, everyone in the world has heard of Captain Kidd and his 'accidental' capture of a couple of small vessels, but mention Bartholomew Roberts, a.k.a. Black Bart, and everyone draws a blank.

This is very surprising, given that Black Bart's career included the successful capture of almost three times as many vessels as the great Edward Teach, a.k.a. Blackbeard, ever caught. For this reason I was very glad to see this new book "If a Pirate I Must Be..." by Richard Sanders released to help illuminate one of the most incredible stories of the Golden Age Of Piracy, Bartholomew Roberts.

Sanders explores the simple beginnings of Robert's career starting when he was taken against his will by pirates off the Gold Coast in July of 1719, where he was making only 2 a month as third mate of the King James. The very next day, his captors took another vessel and he watched with what must have been disbelief as they divided the loot from that capture - each man receiving close to 100 each! Although reluctant at first, Sanders explores how the Welsh born Roberts soon began to accept his fate and destiny as a member of his pirate crew, to eventually be elected to be their Captain.

Accurate and well thought out, "If a Pirate I Must Be...: The True Story of Black Bart, King of the Caribbean Pirates" is an excellent accounting of the last great pirate of the Golden Age of Piracy - Bartholomew Roberts.


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