Outlaws of the Atlantic: Sailors, Pirates, and Motley Crews in the Age of Sail

Category: Book
By (author): Rediker, Marcus
Subject:  HISTORY / Americas (North, Central, South, West Indies)
  HISTORY / General
  POLITICAL SCIENCE / Colonialism & Post-Colonialism
  SOCIAL SCIENCE / Social Classes
Publisher: Beacon Press
Published: April 2015
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 248
Size: 8.99in x 6.02in x 0.74in
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Additional Notes

From The Publisher*This maritime history "from below" exposes the history-making power of common sailors, slaves, pirates, and other outlaws at sea in the era of the tall ship.
In Outlaws of the Atlantic, award-winning historian Marcus Rediker turns maritime history upside down. He explores the dramatic world of maritime adventure, not from the perspective of admirals, merchants, and nation-states but from the viewpoint of commoners-sailors, slaves, indentured servants, pirates, and other outlaws from the late seventeenth to the early nineteenth century. Bringing together their seafaring experiences for the first time, Outlaws of the Atlantic is an unexpected and compelling peoples' history of the "age of sail."
With his signature bottom-up approach and insight, Rediker reveals how the "motley"-that is, multiethnic-crews were a driving force behind the American Revolution; that pirates, enslaved Africans, and other outlaws worked together to subvert capitalism; and that, in the era of the tall ship, outlaws challenged authority from below deck. 
By bringing these marginal seafaring characters into the limelight, Rediker shows how maritime actors have shaped history that many have long regarded as national and landed. And by casting these rebels by sea as cosmopolitan workers of the world, he reminds us that to understand the rise of capitalism, globalization, and the formation of race and class, we must look to the sea. 

From the Hardcover edition.
Review Quote*"With a keen eye for interesting characters, historian Rediker (The Amistad Rebellion) delivers a brisk narrative." -Publishers Weekly

"A top-notch examination of how indentured servants, privateers, pirates and slaves affected and even directed human history in the age of sail. . . . An outstanding view of the ‘seaman' as a ‘preeminent worker of the world.'" -Kirkus Reviews

"[Rediker's] argument that the American Revolution and the antislavery movement were rooted in and energized by the popular image of the pirate . . . is provocative and original." -Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"A colorful, intensely academic maritime history focused on the lower classes." -Shelf Awareness

"[A] lifelong interest in figures at the edges of society informs Outlaws of the Atlantic, Mr. Rediker's below-decks history of the North Atlantic from the late 17th century to the American Revolution." -Wall Street Journal

From the Hardcover edition.
Biographical NoteMarcus Rediker is Distinguished Professor of Atlantic History at the University of Pittsburgh and the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the George Washington Book Prize (2008), the Organization of American Historians' Merle Cuti Award (1998 and 2008), and the Sol Stetin Labor History Award (2013). His books include The Many-Headed Hydra (Beacon Press, 2000; with Peter Linebaugh), Villains of All Nations (Beacon Press, 2004), The Slave Ship (Viking, 2007), and The Amistad Rebellion (Viking, 2012).

From the Hardcover edition.