Marcus Rediker Villains Of All Nations

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Pirates Book Review: Villains of All Nations, written by Marcus Rediker in 2004, is a compelling book which covers all aspects of pirate life, major historical pirates, why these seamen feel they are forced into the life of a pirate, as well as what the punishment was for being caught living this lifestyle. Marcus Rediker is an American professor, historian, writer, and activist for a variety of peace, and social justice causes. He graduated with a B.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1976 and attended the University of Pennsylvania for graduate study, earning an M.A. Rediker has written several books on Atlantic social, labor, and maritime history. He has won a number of awards for his works such as The George Washington Book Prize…show more content…
The first of which being shorty after the Peace of Utrecht in 1713, this phase then directly led into the golden age, which was seen as a mere extension of the privateering that had occurred during the Spanish War of Succession, when Britain would employ legal pirates to harass French and Spanish ships. In 1717 the height of pirating was reached, with pirates attacking vessels of all nations including their native English ships, which were seen to of been the most valuable, this was the biggest turning point in piracy. The third phase ran from 1722 to 1726 when the governments along with merchants set out to exterminate piracy, along with the alternative way of life that it represented. Rediker goes out to diminish the stereotypes that we today as a society hold about the life of a pirate. I agree with Rediker in his argument. You can see through this book that pirates “distributed justice, elected their officers, divided their loot equally, and established a different discipline.” He also stated how they “limited the authority of the captain, resisted many of the practices of capitalist merchant shipping industry, and maintained a multicultural social order. They demonstrated quite clearly that ships did not have to be run in the brutal and oppressive ways of the merchant service and the Royal Navy.” Through his novel we are able to also see that pirates were not these cruel beasts that many have perceived them to be. As shown in chapter 8 pirates did not harm the captain or even the ship if their caption proves to be that of an “honest man”. “Snelgrave’s character proved so respectable that the pirates proposed to give him a captured ship with full cargo and to sell the goods for him. Then they would capture a Portuguese slaver, sell the slaves, and give the proceeds to Snelgrave so that he could return with a large sum of money to London, and bid the merchants defiance. Pirates hoped to show these
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