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How History’s Greatest Pirates Pillaged, Plundered, and Got Away With It:
The Stories, Techniques, and Tactics of the Most Feared Sea Rovers from 1500-1800*


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Thirteen notorious pirates and how they got away with it—an enjoyable factual read for anyone fascinated with history or pirates.

Available in trade paper and ebook editions.
Fairwinds Press, 2010


“Little’s intent here is to demonstrate the ‘romantic realism’ of pirates – showing them as they were, not as we think they were.”

—Cindy Vallar, of Pirates and Privateers, The History of Maritime Piracy





“From the cover, one might be forgiven for thinking that Little’s book could be an “ode to piracy,” but after reading a few pages, it is clear that the author has something very different in mind. He has effectively created a “who’s who” among those who were the most successful in the “golden age” of pirates, but he also shows that they were nothing like the romantic or chivalrous characters in such Hollywood epics as “Captain Blood” or the comedic types in “Pirates of the Caribbean.”…Overall I found this to be an interesting and very readable book. His writing skills and command of language are top-notch. Little clearly knows his subject well and makes a compelling case for his choice of who were the most successful pirates of the past and what made them so.”

—Capt. Roger F. Jones, USN (Ret.), in Naval History Book Reviews, Naval History Foundation, April 18, 2011

“The author’s background as a former Navy SEAL, his study of black-powder weaponry, his experience as a fencing instructor, and his study of primary evidence make him eminently qualified to write this book…What I particularly like about this book is the variety of chosen subjects. They are a combination of the most infamous and least-known pirates; they include men and women, as well as rogues from various parts of the world, rather than just those of the Caribbean or the Golden Age of Piracy. This book is a highly entertaining and informative look at pirates and how they plundered throughout history.”

—Cindy Vallar, of Pirates and Privateers, The History of Maritime Piracy







“With his latest exploration of the phenomenon of piracy Benerson Little has established himself as perhaps the foremost authority and scholar in the field.”

—Frank Sherry, author of Raiders and Rebels: A History of the Golden Age of Piracy



From the Publisher

Pirates occupy a prominent place in the popular imagination, yet seem to have sprouted from history already larger than life, their true personalities, origins, and objectives obscured by myth and fantasy. Moreover, their military acumen is seldom discussed in conventional histories, and the real reasons for their successes and failures are therefore poorly understood. In this fascinating survey of thirteen of the most famous buccaneers, author and former U.S. Navy SEAL Benerson Little employs his direct experience of seafaring and naval combat to highlight the ingenuity of many of the pirates’ campaigns—and those conducted against them.


17 Attack on Chinese Pirates


Associated Blog Posts

Piracy Defined Through the Ages

Pirate Versus Privateer

The Myth of Sharp’s Buccaneers, the Wreck of the Santa Maria de la Consolación, and Isla de Muerto

logs on The Golden Age of Piracy page.



Barataria Large

Plan of the attack on Lafitte’s pirates at Barataria, plus a proposed fortification to be built on the site. (Library of Congress.)


* A rather cumbersome, if descriptive title; it is the publisher’s, not the author’s.

Copyright Benerson Little 2010-2018.

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