Empire of Blue Water: Captain Morgan's Great Pirate Army, the Epic Battle for the Americas, and the Catastrophe That Ended the Outlaws' Bloody Reign

Stephan Talty, Author . Crown $24.95 (332p) ISBN 978-0-307-23660-9

Journalist Talty (Mulatto America ) entertainingly chronicles the life of legendary privateer Capt. Henry Morgan and his crucial role in challenging Spain's hegemony in the New World in this informative popular history. Seeking his fortune, Welshman Morgan arrived in the Caribbean just as British King Charles II decided to challenge Spain by using pirates "as a stick with which to beat [them]." Morgan accepted a privateer's commission from the British—in effect, a license to steal—and set out in 1661 to make his fortune. Smart and charismatic, Morgan quickly rose to the rank of captain and became "fabulously rich." His attack on the Spanish stronghold at Portobelo "showed the world that the empire was vulnerable," and his raid on the city of Panama—the "greatest raid in the history of buccaneering"—forced "the Spanish to renounce their exclusive rights to the New World." Charles II knighted Morgan and appointed him deputy governor of Jamaica, a position that tasked him—"the greatest of the buccaneers"—with exterminating piracy. Morgan died of the effects of alcohol abuse in 1688 at 53. Talty strips away the legend to recreate a pivotal era in this accessible portrait of the pirates of the Caribbean. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/05/2007
Release date: 04/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 587 pages - 978-0-7862-9842-6
Downloadable Audio - 1 pages - 978-1-4159-3693-1
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-4165-0293-7
Paperback - 332 pages - 978-0-307-23661-6
Compact Disc - 978-0-7393-4165-0
Open Ebook - 216 pages - 978-0-307-38275-7
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-7432-7539-2
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