Book Review:

Pirates - Predators of the Seas: An Illustrated History

Authors: Angus Konstam and Roger Michael Kean
Length: 240 pages
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
Genre: Fact
Language: English
ISBN: 1602390355
Rating: Three and a Half stars! 3.5/5 Stars


This is a wonderfully written book which is a history of piracy from its roots in ancient Egypt right up to the present day. The book not only discusses the "Golden Age of Piracy" when Morgan, Blackbeard and Captain Kidd plied their trade in the Caribbean, but it also covers the extensive pirate activity in the ancient world as well as its modern manifestation.

The links between the breakdown of social order or a political power vacuum and its effects on the rise of piracy during various historical ages are addressed as is the centuries long pirate conflict between Islam and Christendom during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. This is a well written historical work and the pirates are portrayed as the frequently ruthless and bloodthirsty men (and some women) they were rather than as the charming rogues of so many Hollywood motion pictures.

The book is also full of detailed full color maps and pictures relating to piracy which both ably supplements the text as well as being esthetically pleasing in their own right. The principle author Angus Konstam was a commentator on a recent History Channel documentary on piracy and his in-depth knowledge of the subject makes this book enjoyable by both a serious student of the subject as well as the newly interested reader.

In these days of "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies and the "Pirate Master" reality show this book is a welcome dose of historical fact into a subject which has been long been dominated by romantic fantasies

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