• Under the Black Flag

  • The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates
  • By: David Cordingly
  • Narrated by: Don Hagen
  • Length: 10 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 29-11-11
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Gildan Media, LLC
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.2 (25 ratings)

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
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Critic reviews

"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)
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Regular price: £23.79

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 09-08-18

Thorough at dispelling romanticism preconceptions

Non spoiler alert, but the last section offer a suitable historic footnote that articulates the misconceptions and romanticising of the subject matter, maybe watch the excellent Black Sails amalgamation of fact v fiction to help visualise the content the section of Hollywood’s makeover also reinforces idealised stereotypes that still pertain.
Grab a rum and immerse yourself to help visual sloops and the socio economic and political dynamic that still 300 years translate in elements of today’s society.
The author has done a excellent job of the realities of this period, from a reference point of view as a training tool, you need to take key window timeline of specific periods and events within the social context and frame around your own storytelling narrative. The crime, state retribution and punishment keeps you immersed beyond the usual key figures and the chapter on homosexuality is enlightening.
A couple of UK diction errors are more than made up for with French, Spanish and Chinese articulation


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4 out of 5 stars
By James on 15-03-17

Really informative

Really enjoyed the book despite the American pronunciation of so much of it. Perhaps the voice might learn to pronounce the words he's reading in future.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Tom on 24-09-12

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.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Joel Langenfeld on 02-07-15

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.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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