The Republic of Pirates

By Colin Woodard,

Book cover of The Republic of Pirates: Being the True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates and the Man Who Brought Them Down

Book description

An entrancing tale of piracy colored with gold, treachery and double-dealing (Portland Press Herald), Pulitzer Prize-finalist Colin Woodward's The Republic of Pirates is the historical biography of the exploits of infamous Caribbean buccaneers.

In the early eighteenth century, the Pirate Republic was home to some of the great pirate captains,…

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Why read it?

4 authors picked The Republic of Pirates as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This was one of the first books I read as part of my research about pirates during the Golden Age of Piracy.

It has a bibliography and footnotes, but it reads more like an adventure novel. You can read it for research, entertainment, or both. Everything in this book really happened. It’s one of the best starting points for someone to learn about piracy in the early 1700s.

From Laura's list on pirates (fact and fiction).

Pirates make great bad guys, plundering their way through history as seaborne barbarians. The Republic of Pirates makes you look at infamous figures like Edward "Blackbeard" Teach, "Black Sam" Bellamy, and Charles Vane in new ways. Those pirate ships were incubators for democracy, marked by equal rights for all races and leadership elections. Compared to the slave-trading empires that the pirates attacked, the pirate ships were bastions of freedom before (and in some ways better) the American Revolution canonized them in the Declaration of Independence. It just goes to show, you’re only an outlaw or a rebel if you’re caught…

From Joe's list on that give the outlaws a say.

The Republic of Pirates is a brilliant book. Though it’s non-fiction, Woodard makes the text extremely readable, even entertaining. The book focuses on the “Golden Age” of pirating, primarily in the Caribbean and eastern seaboard, and how the pirate “kingdom” was imagined, built, and then torn asunder by Woodes Rogers. Woodard takes the reader through the rise of piracy, the terror and fear that these pirates spread, and then the chilling hunt that brought nearly all of them to the gallows. It’s a history of men who wanted to be free and govern themselves and not by some faraway dolt…

From Virginia's list on pirates, history, and legend.

Woodard’s book is perfect for those who want to dive deep into the world of the pirates of the Caribbean, such as Blackbeard, Charles Vane, and Sam Bellamy. Woodard captures that part pirate history that most people think of when they think about pirates—consider it as the non-fiction equivalent of Captain Jack Sparrow and the Black Pearl. His engaging prose and colorful stories bring alive the characters and events that to a large extent created our culture’s shared conception of what pirates were and how they lived and died. And Woodard’s tale of how Woodes Rogers brought the Caribbean pirates…

From Eric's list on piracy and pirates.

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