Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean: How a Generation of Swashbuckling Jews Carved Out an Empire in the New World in Their Quest for Treasure, Religious F

Ed Kritzler, Author Doubleday Books $26 (324p) ISBN 978-0-385-51398-2
Historian and journalist Kritzler brings the political and religious ramifications of Caribbean pirating into a whole new context while explaining how the Jewish diaspora funded piracy to advance their religious (and financial) freedom in the New World. Through a deft combination of factual overview and anecdotes involving some of the more colorful figures of the time, Kritzler paints a unique picture of this perhaps over-exposed period of history. For centuries in Europe, Jews were shunted from country to country, exploited by penurious rulers for their financial acumen and promptly persecuted after the country became solvent (most egregiously in Spain). By financing piracy, the Jews ensured their own survival, as well as monopolizing the most lucrative income sources Europe had seen in centuries. While figures like Henry Morgan and Barbarossa will leap out at readers familiar with pirate lore, the little-known ""pirate rabbi"" Samuel Palache will excite just as much interest. Though Kritzler tends to leap from topic to topic, he covers an impressive interdisciplinary range-combining politics, economics and religion-that should satisfy fans of religious history and swashbuckling true stories.
Reviewed on: 09/29/2008
Release date: 10/01/2008
Open Ebook - 180 pages - 978-0-385-52836-8
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