...that's the title of a review in the September 7, 2009 issue of the New Yorker. The subtitle is "What do the pirates of yore tell us about their modern counterparts?" The author, Caleb Crain, takes five pages to discuss "The Invisible Hook," (what he calls "a brisk, clever new book") that discusses pirates' "espousal of liberty, equality, and fraternity derived not from idealism but from a desire for profit."
Blackbeard, of course, is mentioned, along with a host of other pirates, both ancient and modern.
The excellent article is accompanied by an engaging drawing of an 18th century pirate (tied around the waist with hemp rope, his right hand lifted in a smirking salute, with frowning crew mates gathered in the background). The caption reads, "Pirates had strict but unconventional codes of behavior, and some historians claim them as early progressives--with democracy, economic fairness, racial tolerance, and even health care."
Look for the article in your local library, or in your latest issue of the New Yorker.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a small photo album with historic pictures, including the aftermath of the 1944 hurricane, the 1921 Ghost Ship of the Outer Banks, the 1935 wreck of the Nomis, the Island Inn, the Methodist Church, and the Wahab Village Hotel. I've added a short paragraph under each photo to help put them in historical perspective. You can see the pictures by clicking here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news082609.htm.