Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Arrrgh! The Pirate Who Wasn't?

Spinning off of my previous post, we go from a bridge to the high seas, the American colonies, and corrupt world of British politics and commerce of three-hundred years ago.

Last week, my wife and I finished another one of our "car" reads: The Pirate Hunter by Richard Zacks. This breezily written book, perfect for upcoming summer trips to the beach, claims to tell the true story of Captain Kidd. Zacks argues, convincingly, that Kidd wasn't a pirate at all.

Instead, goaded by his own desire for even more wealth than he had already acquired or married into, Kidd had the misfortune of signing a probably illegal contract with prominent British personages.

When their investment didn't pay off and political enemies sensed their vulnerability, these powerful people gladly sacrificed Kidd to the gallows.

Zacks paints a damning portrait of late-17th-early 18th-century British justice. And believe it or not, it's a fun read, packed with interesting characters who make those in Pirates of the Caribbean seem tame by comparison.

Beware: There's some crude language here.

Beware, too: Zacks isn't a great writer. This is no Pullitzer Prize-candidate, just brain candy with a healthy dose of interesting historical facts thrown in.

[Click on 2 below, to find this book.]

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