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Black Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America's Most Notorious Pirates

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3.66  ·  Rating details ·  41 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
With surprising tales of vicious mutineers, imperial riches, and high-seas intrigue, Black Flags, Blue Waters vividly reanimates the “Golden Age” of piracy in the Americas.

Set against the backdrop of the Age of Exploration, Black Flags, Blue Waters reveals the dramatic and surprising history of American piracy’s “Golden Age”―spanning the late 1600s through the early 1700s―
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Hardcover, 416 pages
Published September 18th 2018 by Liveright
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Eric Dolin It is history, non-fiction. Here is a review that just came out from Sea History Magazine, and some other pre-pub reviews.

"Black Flags, Blue Waters…more
It is history, non-fiction. Here is a review that just came out from Sea History Magazine, and some other pre-pub reviews.

"Black Flags, Blue Waters is a fast-paced scholarly narrative about seamen who turned rogue to terrorize the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Atlantic. . . . Dolin has produced an elegantly written history. His streaming writing style makes for enjoyable reading, and his penchant for distinguishing where fact has been garnished and morphed into legend creates sundry unexpected revelations. These romantic or repulsive sea rovers continue to captivate the imaginations of the public. Over the years, many books about pirates have been published, but Black Flags, Blue Waters is distinctive and an excellent addition to this subdivision of maritime history."

“[Dolin] revels in the marauding adventures of these high-seas brigands while explaining factors, economic and political, involved in the rise and decline of the piratical phenomenon. … Amply illustrated, Dolin's realistic rendition of piracy, which he contrasts with its romanticized, Jolly Roger image, will enthrall readers seeking a new take on this ever-popular topic.—Booklist.

“In this informative volume . . . Dolin more than meets his objective of separating fact from fiction . . . an excellent starting point for readers interested in this misunderstood chapter of American history.” —Publishers Weekly

“Dolin has penned masterly histories of North American whaling (Leviathan), lighthouses (Brilliant Beacons), and now piracy. . . . VERDICT A colorful and well-researched study of piracy's glory days, rooted in historical context. Sure to appeal to pirate enthusiasts as well as serious researchers.”—Library Journal

"Intriguing history of piracy's heyday . . . Dolin helpfully dismisses some of the more potent pirate myths. . . . [and offers] an informative and often entertaining blend of narrative history and analysis that should appeal to a general audience." –Kirkus Reviews


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Cindy Vallar
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For five decades encompassing the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, pirates played an integral role in colonial history and life. Initially, they were welcomed, but as the years passed, what was once profitable coexistence became a dogged determination to eradicate these sea marauders.

Black Flags, Blue Waters presents the “celebrities” of this “golden age” of piracy with a narrowly focused lens. Most comparable volumes look at this historical period in a broad manner that encompas
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Northumberland
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
With surprising tales of vicious mutineers, imperial riches, and high-seas intrigue, Black Flags, Blue Waters vividly reanimates the “Golden Age” of piracy in the Americas.
Josh Liller
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: american-history
I picked this up because I quite enjoyed two of the author's previous works, Brilliant Beacons and Leviathan. I'm not a pirate "fan" but I do find the subject somewhat interesting.

BFBW takes some unusual directions. First, it focuses on the Golden Age of Piracy, but Dolin includes the late 1600s as well rather than just 1715-1726 (a quick internet search indicates this view his view is not unusual; it's simply not what I was familiar with). Second, it focuses on pirates who were from the America
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George
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. A detailed, well researched and compelling account of the golden age of piracy, through it's eventual decline. Other pirate books have focused on the exploits of the pirates, or on individual pirates and their careers, or on pirate "society", this book was different in that delved deep into the working relationship between pirates and the colonies of early America and New England.

Although everyone naturally thinks of the Caribbean when they think of pirates, no one really con
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Christopher Klein
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Eric Jay Dolin writes a rollicking history of the "Golden Age" of American piracy. "Black Flags, Blue Waters" is not only heavily researched, but extremely readable. Much of what I thought I knew about pirates hadn't progressed much beyond the romanticized tales of buried treasure and swashbuckling buccaneers that captivates nearly every schoolchild, but the real history in "Black Flags, Blue Waters" is just as compelling.

What I found most fascinating in reading the book was the fact that, duri
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Gerard Villegas
A great history of the more well-known figures of piracy like Captain Morgan and Blackbeard. The book details the race for exploration between Spain and England and how each was affected by both political and economic motivations. Though it touches upon its application to modern day piracy, it does leave out some other influential pirates like Mary Read and Anne Bonnie. Still, a good nonfiction book nonetheless.
Ti.Me
Sep 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Extremely well-researched and informative, this work could be used as a textbook on the subject.

As entertainment, the book falls short, meandering on, slowly dripping trails of facts, with the feel of a never-ending reading assignment.
Carolyn Davis
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Eric Jay Dolin writes entertainingly about many seafaring topics, even unsavory ones, in this case, piracy.. A specialist in ocean life, he also writes about the history of lighthouses, and the questionable joys and misadventures of pursuing PhD. studies. His books are to print what Ken Burns' documentaries are to film.

I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Jamaica. Subsequent to that, I researched many subjects about the West Indies. Black Flags, Blue Waters' history is presented in an easy narrative
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Lynn Coulter
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you've got a drop of salt water in your veins or a thing for Johnny Depp as Capt. Jack Sparrow, you should read Eric Jay Dolin's new book, Black Flags, Blue Waters. There's just something about pirates that seems so romantic and mysterious--although the more I read about them, the more I realize how bloodthirsty and greedy they became, after initially being welcomed to the North American colonies. Dolin also debunked some myths I'd heard (nobody walked the plank or buried treasure on Gardiner ...more
Kenneth
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I picked this up as a light read between two weightier tomes and it was what I wanted. The book focuses on pirates from or who plied their trade in what would become the United States. It's a good narrative history and some of the tales are very memorable. It's not a deep dive, it's not an adventure tale, it's a nice easy read on an in interesting subject.
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I love telling dramatic, sometimes wondrous, and often tragic stories about people, commerce, maritime history, and the environment. My goal is to entertain and inform, and leave people glad that they took the time to read one of my books.

My most recent book is Black Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America's Most Notorious Pirates (Liveright (a division of W. W. Norton), September 2018).
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