Friday, November 21, 2008

Come, friends of piracy

Talking Points Memo, the US politics blog that is worth reading even (particularly!) in those small windows of time when there is not an American election on, is the creation of a historian, Joshua Micah Marshall, and sometimes it takes a nicely historic perspective on daily news -- as here on the historical significance of piracy.

'Cept Josh misses one huge counter-example when he argues that a rise in piracy reflects the decline of an imperial power. The almost total destruction of piracy in the Atlantic Ocean in the years around 1720 (Blackbeard, Edward English, Ned Lowther, Jack Rackam, Bartholomew Davis) went hand in hand with the rise of Britain to mastery of the seas and of maritime commerce.

Ah me, just another book I did not get around to writing....
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