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Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates | [David Cordingly]

Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates

For this rousing, revisionist history, the former head of exhibitions at England's National Maritime Museum has combed original documents and records to produce a most authoritative and definitive account of piracy's "Golden Age." As he explodes many accepted myths (i.e. "walking the plank" is pure fiction), Cordingly replaces them with a truth that is more complex and often bloodier.
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Publisher's Summary

For this rousing, revisionist history, the former head of exhibitions at England's National Maritime Museum has combed original documents and records to produce a most authoritative and definitive account of piracy's "Golden Age." As he explodes many accepted myths (i.e. "walking the plank" is pure fiction), Cordingly replaces them with a truth that is more complex and often bloodier.

©2006 David Cordingly (P)2011 Gildan Media Corp

What the Critics Say

"An insightful, concise, and thoroughly enjoyable portrait of the misnamed Golden Age of Piracy...." (Library Journal)

"Even if you don't know a corsair (a Mediterranean-based pirate) from a buccaneer (a Caribbean pirate), this book will delight and inform." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (83 )
5 star
 (21)
4 star
 (26)
3 star
 (27)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (3)
Overall
3.7 (78 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (3)
Story
3.9 (76 )
5 star
 (22)
4 star
 (29)
3 star
 (19)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
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  •  
    Tom Wilminton, NC, United States 09-24-12
    Tom Wilminton, NC, United States 09-24-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    10
    4
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    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting and Informative"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes and no. I learned a little from this book, the author seemed to wander from topic to topic and the whole book was loosely tied together.


    If you’ve listened to books by David Cordingly before, how does this one compare?

    This is the first book buy the author, as I have mentioned it is an ok book, but I never really got the sense of what life was like during this time in history. I was expecting more of a history and fewer "stories"


    Have you listened to any of Don Hagen’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No this was my first time hearing him. He did a great job!


    Was Under the Black Flag worth the listening time?

    Yes and no. I wanted more information, more facts. The author bounces all over the place. The chapters are loosely connected, and only a few times does he point out that our modern conception of a pirate is very different than what are the facts.


    Any additional comments?

    Overall not a horrible book, but not what i was looking for.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BJMcGee 05-22-14
    BJMcGee 05-22-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    16
    13
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    0
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    Story
    "just the facts"
    What did you like best about this story?

    I was happy to find a broad history of pirates. Given how hot pirates are in popular culture, it's nice to have a factual background.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I would not want to listen to this all in one sitting. It can get a little dry. I broke it up over a period of time.


    Any additional comments?

    There was a section on punishment that was very gory. My son listed to portions of the book with me, but he could not have listed to this part, and I had a hard time getting through it. I understand its importance, but it was tough to listen to.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth 04-20-15
    Beth 04-20-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great read"

    Very good read, information was in depth and enjoyable. Each topic concerning the history of pirates was researched and presented in great length.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald 11-19-13
    Donald 11-19-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
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    69
    24
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    Story
    "Learn the true facts of pirates"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes , the complilation of stories, with explanation, Gave me a deeper understanding of the brutality of a pirates life


    What did you like best about this story?

    The examination of many of the pirates of the time and clearing of misconseption of ther life - For instance "walking the plank" has only one recording occurance.


    Which character – as performed by Don Hagen – was your favorite?

    All were great , since it was about many pirates


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The description of the torture , the description made these new films of robots and beasts look tame .


    Any additional comments?

    A must read for anyone interested in that time period and the Brotherhood of Pirates.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joel Langenfeld 07-02-15 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    76
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    564
    20
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    3
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lacks Nuance"

    Cordingly attempts to lump every sea-borne rogue from the sea-peoples of the ancient Mediterranean to Somali pirates in skiffs into one archetype, then share his reflections on that archetype. He would have been far more effective talking about specific subcultures of "pirates" and not trying to fit them all into one tidy model.

    Cordingly also seems to inordinately dependent on a number of works either written by Daniel Defoe, or very closely linked to him. Another major source of research appears to be testimony of suspected pirates in British Admiralty courts. Granted, there is a paucity of primary material available, but both should have been treated with far more circumspection.

    The narration was professional.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ky 06-18-15
    Ky 06-18-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    3
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    Story
    "Great Book"

    Very great information, presented in an interesting. Narrator mispronounces some names but they are Spanish so it's excusable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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