Villains of All Nations

Marcus Rediker


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Verso Books
5 November 2012
ISBN: 9781844672813
256 pages

From the publisher

Pirates have long been stock figures in popular culture, from Treasure Island to the more recent antics of Jack Sparrow. Villains of all Nations unearths the thrilling historical truth behind such fictional characters and rediscovers their radical democratic challenge to the established powers of the day.

“Rediker’s brilliant study illuminates every aspect of life on the high seas.”– New Statesman

“Marcus Rediker’s social and cultural history of the “golden age” of Atlantic piracy in the early 18th century dispels some of the romanticised myths and makes claims for a proto-democratic, egalitarian and multi-ethnic society.”– Financial Times

“Rediker’s work on piracy … has revolutionised not only the way we see pirates, but also the way we understand the history of political institutions in the West. This is his fullest account to date of the democratic, egalitarian, multi-racial and utterly ruthless pirate communities of the early 18th century.”– London Review of Books

“No-one with a serious interest in the history of seafaring (or villainy) should miss this fascinating account of the Atlantic Pirates of the Golden Age.”– Scotsman