Life Under the Jolly Roger: Reflections on Golden Age Piracy

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PM Press, Nov 1, 2009 - History - 272 pages
Dissecting the conflicting views of the golden age of pirates—as romanticized villains on one hand and genuine social rebels on the other—this fascinating chronicle explores the political and cultural significance of these nomadic outlaws by examining a wide range of ethnographical, sociological, and philosophical standards. The meanings of race, gender, sexuality, and disability in pirate communities are analyzed and contextualized, as are the pirates' forms of organization, economy, and ethics. Going beyond simple swashbuckling adventures, the examination also discusses the pirates' self-organization, the internal make-up of the crews, and their early-1700s philosophies—all of which help explain who they were and what they truly wanted. Asserting that pirates came in all shapes, sexes, and sizes, this engaging study ultimately portrays pirates not just as mere thieves and killers but as radical activists with their own society and moral code fighting against an empire.
 

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User Review  - jen.e.moore - LibraryThing

An interesting take on pirate history, attempting to pick apart the ways in which Golden Age pirates are and aren't a useful reference point for radical activists. A lot of the usual criticisms of ... Read full review

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Contents

1 Background
7
2 Enemy of His Own Civilization An Ethnography of Golden Age Piracy
23
3 Social Origins or The European Legacy Golden Age Piracy and Cultural Studies
51
4 Ni dieu ni maître Golden Age Piracy and Politics
83
The Golden Age Pirates Political Legacy
173
6 Notes on Pirate Literature
183
7 Bibliography
187
Notes
201
Index
249
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About the author (2009)

Gabriel Kuhn is the author of Sober Living for the Revolution: Hardcore Punk, Straight Edge, and Radical Politics and Women Pirates and the Politics of the Jolly Roger.

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