Villains of All Nations: Atlantic Pirates in the Golden Age

Front Cover
Verso, 2004 - Atlantic Coast (U.S.) - 240 pages
3 Reviews
Villains of All Nations is a people's history of piracy--a history that emphasizes how common seamen who turned pirate built for themselves a multicultural, democratic and egalitarian society. This vivid social history of Atlantic piracy focuses on its colorful Golden Age, from 1716 to 1726, the age of the dreaded black flag, the Jolly Roger, as well as swashbuckling figures such as Edward Teach, better known, of course, as Blackbeard. These "outcasts of all nations" imagined--and succeeded in forging--a better world than they had found on the merchant and naval ships on which they had previously worked: they democratically elected their officers, divided their booty in egalitarian way, and fought against the common vicious abuse of sailors. The historical truth about what pirates actually did proves more compelling than the romantic fiction that has grown up around them.

What people are saying - Write a review

Interesting & Educational

User Review  - jlwhydra -

Im currently working on research for a memoir and found Villains of All Nations to be insightful. It offers a dualperspective on villainy and terrorism as well as providing supporting arguments why ... Read full review

Review: Villains of All Nations: Atlantic Pirates in the Golden Age

User Review  - Caty - Goodreads

I did read this book, despite what that stupid bug says, and I give it three stars. Pirates had their own unique system of governance and other fascinating facts and diverting primary sources, oh my. Three stars, cuz it won't let me note that down either. Read full review

Selected pages


A Tale of Two Terrors
The Political Arithmetic of Piracy
Who Will Go a Pyrating?
The New Government of the Ship
To Do Justice to Sailors
The Women Pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read
To Extirpate Them Out of the World
Defiance of Death Itself
Blood and Gold

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2004)

Rediker is professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh.

Bibliographic information