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Villains of All Nations

Atlantic Pirates in the Golden Age


“Marcus Rediker knows pirates, and he knows how to tell a story. Villains of All Nations is a must read; don’t wait for the movie!”
—Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination

“Pirates-denounced as the ‘common enemy of all mankind’ by weighty authorities in every nation-were heroes to many common folk in the eighteenth century, and to many more since. They created life under the flag of death, liberty in a world of despotism, and equality where hierarchy dwelled. They also made an already savage world more barbarous. Understanding these conundrums requires placing the Jolly Roger in the context of history, while respecting its place in the popular imagination. Marcus Rediker accomplishes both tasks with intelligence, insight, and balance, attentive both of the lives pirates would live and of the lives they did live.”
—Ira Berlin, University Professor, University of Maryland

“Here is the turbulent world turned upside down of the pirates of the Golden Age in delicious unromantic detail. The chapter on Anne Bonny and Mary Read is alone worth the price of admission. Rediker’s masterfully researched book is a landmark in history from the bottom up.”
—Alfred Young, author of Masquerade: The Life and Times of Deborah Sampson, Continental Soldier