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Global Piracy


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Table of Contents

1. Enemies of All Nations 2. Bandits of the Wine Dark Sea: Piracy in the Classical World 3. Vikings: The Scourge from the North 4. English Sea Dogs and the Pillaging of Empire 5. Dwarf Pirates: Pillaging the Korean and Chinese Coasts 6. Dutch Sea Beggars and the Business of Piracy 7. Brethren of the Coast: Caribbean Buccaneers 8. Raiders of the State: Piracy and State Formation in Southeast Asia 9. "Our Sea": Corsairing in the Mediterranean 10. Beneath the Jolly Roger: The Golden Age of Piracy 11. Maritime Marginals: Piracy in Late Imperial China 12. Community of Thieves: Piracy in the Western Indian Ocean 13. Terror on the Seas: Piracy in Modern Southeast Asia 14. Oil-Soaked Pirates in the Gulf of Guinea 15. Saviors of the Sea: Pirates of the Somalia Coast 16. Pirate Suppression Notes Bibliography Index

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A survey of the global history of piracy, from the ancient Greeks to modern day Nigeria, explored through a selection of representative primary source documents.

About the Author

James E. Wadsworth is Professor of History at Stonehill College, USA. He is the author of Agents of Orthodoxy: Honor, Status and the Inquisition in Colonial Pernambuco Brazil (2007), In Defence of the Faith: Joaquim Marques de Araujo, A Brazilian Comissario in the Age of Inquisitional Decline (2013), Columbus and His First Voyage: A History in Documents (2016), and The World of Credit in Colonial Massachusetts: James Richards and His Day Book, 1692-1711 (2017).


This volume's comprehensive, chronological and global scope illustrates a core message: that maritime piracy has always been an integral feature of the political and commercial order. It reveals that while piracy has exhibited cultural and circumstantial differences from region to region and time to time, it has featured consistent similarities in its internal dynamics and external settings. Most important, this volume reveals that pirates have never been hostis humani generis ("enemies of all mankind"). Pirates have been the friends, allies, and benefactors of many, which is why they have been so difficult to eradicate. What obscures this fact from many in Europe and North America is the fact that maritime predation has mostly disappeared in the Atlantic since the latter half of the nineteenth century, while it persisted and flourished elsewhere around the globe. This book ably illustrates how this Atlantic anomaly has skewed Westerners' understanding what global piracy is and how to address it. * Guy Chet, Professor of History, University of North Texas, USA *
In this bold and impressively wide-ranging collection covering the global history of piracy, James E. Wadsworth provides a rich and fascinating selection of evidence to challenge longstanding romantic perceptions of the subject. Students will find this an essential guide and introduction to the subject, anyone with an interest in piracy will find it an attractive and thought-provoking collection. * John C. Appleby, Senior Lecturer in History, Liverpool Hope University, UK *

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