Black Flags, Blue Waters

The Epic History of America's Most Notorious Pirates
Narrated by: Paul Brion
Length: 10 hrs and 29 mins
Categories: History, Americas
4.5 out of 5 stars (285 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Set against the backdrop of the Age of Exploration, Black Flags, Blue Waters reveals the dramatic and surprising history of American piracy's "Golden Age" - spanning the late 1600s through the early 1700s - when lawless pirates plied the coastal waters of North America and beyond. Best-selling author Eric Jay Dolin illustrates how American colonists at first supported these outrageous pirates in an early display of solidarity against the Crown, and then violently opposed them. 

Through engrossing episodes of roguish glamour and extreme brutality, Dolin depicts the star pirates of this period, among them towering Blackbeard, ill-fated Captain Kidd, and sadistic Edward Low, who delighted in torturing his prey. Also brilliantly detailed are the pirates' manifold enemies, including colonial governor John Winthrop and evangelist Cotton Mather.

Upending popular misconceptions and cartoonish stereotypes, Dolin provides this wholly original account of the seafaring outlaws whose raids reflect the precarious nature of American colonial life.

©2018 Eric Jay Dolin (P)2018 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What listeners say about Black Flags, Blue Waters

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Golden-Age Piracy from an American perspective

This book attempts to look at at golden-age piracy through the lens of how it affected the American colonies. That is an interesting perspective, and it does have some unique information that I haven't encountered in other books.

I would say that the book partially succeeds. However, since it is difficult to tell that story without also giving the background information of piracy in the West Indies, about two thirds (just a rough estimate) of the content of the book is also covered in "The Republic of Pirates" by Colin Woodard, which, in my humble opinion, did a better job of it.

There is still a decent amount of interesting information in the book. Some of the stories relayed are different than other versions I have heard, and for some strange reason, I like hearing alternate reports. Perhaps the mystery is what makes this era in history so interesting to me.

Overall, although I occasionally got tired of hearing redundant information, I am glad I picked up this book.

9 people found this helpful

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Solid read, BUT...

If this is your first foray into the history of pirates, I heartily recommend listening to The Republic of Pirates by Colin Woodard first. It's a much more engaging read, and the narrator does a MUCH better job (I swear, this narrator almost managed to make PIRATES seem boring with his delivery). After you read that book, if you're still hungry for more, than this volume is a respectable one for supplementing your knowledge. The author does present interesting history that The Republic of Pirates glossed over, including a few interesting figures left out of that other book entirely. This book just has a slightly narrower focus that I think makes it less suitable as a first book on the subject. By all means read and enjoy it (narrator aside, I certainly did), just not as your first sojourn into the subject matter.

7 people found this helpful

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Driest performance I have ever heard.

I have been buying and listening to audio books for 10+ years at the rate of 2-3 a month. That comes out to 240-360 audiobooks in my library.

This is by far the worst performance I have heard. The writing is interesting, but the narrator is just impossible to listen to. No expression, no excitement, no characterization, no nothing. It might as well be a computer reading.

4 people found this helpful

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Somehow pirates are boring.

The first half of the book is as interesting as reading the phone book. Everything mentioned was uninteresting and forgettable. The second half become more tolerable as individual tales were presented. However the biggest tragedy of this selection is the narration. Beginning to end the narrator reminds monotone throughout. I will be avoiding other books in which he is a part of. I would rather swing from the yardarm than suffer another selection from him.

1 person found this helpful

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Good story, ok reading.

The narrator's diction was annoying. For example "senventeen hundred" was pronouced seventennnnuh. Also the production was off. Had to turn the bass off my car to be able to understand it. Almost quit after the first 5 minutes.

1 person found this helpful

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Yo Ho! Yo Ho! A Pirates Life for Me!

This was a good historical look back on the known Pirates of the Golden age on the High Seas. I do recommend it. Enjoy.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

An exciting account of piracy

In this book you will learn about how piracy effected the American colonies as well as the Caribbean. I learned things about the colonies that were not taught to me in school. The narrator did a fantastic job. He was clear and not dry.

3 people found this helpful

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Great book, lot of stories

The only complaint I have is that the voice actor is a bit monotone, but still not bad. This book is a fantastic resource for anyone interested in pirate history. I ordered the print edition as well-the reviews suggest it has a lot of maps and graphics.

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An enjoyable, truthful narrative.

This book specifically relates the true, historic narrative of piracy along the English colonies of North America during the golden age of piracy. As a history buff, I enjoyed it. I also enjoyed the clear, concise reading by the narrator.

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Awesome

I love learning about history and this audio makes it very easy and enjoyable as it is so interesting to listens too.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-13-19

very informative

good listening and narrative, covered a wide range of areas and information
good value for money.