Book Review-‘The War Against the Pirates: British and American suppression of Caribbean piracy in the early nineteenth century’ by B. Gough andC. Borras

By Benjamin Arnstrong, published December 2020


The recent rise in piracy studies has moved the history of maritime crime and oceanic security beyond the popular history or swashbuckling romantic tales of misunderstood men and women on the seven seas. Examinations of the economics of piracy, the motivations of individual sailors and captains, and how these actors related to the wider issues of the Atlantic world have helped students and scholars develop a greater depth of understanding of the phenomenon of piracy. However, these studies have focused on the era that has become known as the ‘Golden Age of Piracy’, and they have tended to focus on pirates themselves much more so than the naval officers and government officials who worked to secure oceanic trade. This short book, The War Against the Pirate, by Barry Gough and Charles Borras breaks those focal norms by studying the rise and decline of piratical activity in the early decades of the nineteenth century rather than the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, and it explicitly examines the naval response to the depredations that wracked the Caribbean…

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Filed under: Pirates | Other (Nineteenth C)
Subjects include: Pirates, Corsairs & Privateers

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