This is a paperbound reprint of a 2003 book. Earle (emeritus, economics history, U. of London) mines British Admiralty records to find that the romance of the pirate life was certainly not an invention of those who made the mistake of choosing to live it. Piracy was a costly and deadly business, a fact of which those responsible for making shipping safe and profitable were well aware as they systematically pursued seafaring criminals from the 16th century up to the time of the last hanging of a pirate captain in 1835. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
Contemporary views of pirates are based on tales of swashbuckling men with knives between their teeth serving under the skull- and-crossbones flag. Earle (Corsairs of Malta and Barbary) dismisses this myth and provides a realistic look into the malevolence of piracy and the methods nations used to bring pirates to justice. He reviews the history of piracy from the 16th century to its demise in the mid-1800s. Earle examines the major areas where pirates operated and the changing attitudes and policies of governments toward piracy. His study reveals a more sinister, less noble group of men. A well-researched effort on an extensive subject, this is highly recommended for academic libraries and larger public libraries in coastal areas.-Charles M. Minyard, U.S. Army (ret.), Blountstown, FL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.