The Pirate Hunter by Richard Zacks
The True Story of Captain Kidd

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Synopsis

Everybody knows the legend of Captain Kidd, America's most ruthless buccanneer. Few people realize that the facts of his life make for a much better tale. Kidd was actually a tough New York sea captain hired to chase pirates, a married war hero whose secret mission took a spectacularly bad turn.

This harrowing tale traces Kidd's voyages in the 1690s from his home near Wall Street to Whitehall Palace in London, from the ports of the Caribbean to a secret pirate paradise off Madagascar. Author Richard Zacks, during his research, also unearthed the story of a long forgotten rogue named Robert Culliford, who dogged Kidd and led Kidd's crew to mutiny not once but twice. The lives of Kidd and Culliford play out like an unscripted duel: one man would hang in the harbor, the other would walk away with the treasure. Filled with superb writing and impeccable research, The Pirate Hunter is both a masterpiece of historical detective work and a ripping good yarn, and it delivers something rare: an authentic pirate story for grown-ups.
 

About Richard Zacks

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Richard Zacks spent more than three years researching The Pirate Hunter, including months at the Public Record Office in London (where he found a pirate prisoner's long-lost diary). Zacks is the author of two previous books of unusual research: the bestselling History Laid Bare and perennial book club favorite An Underground Education. He lives in Pelham, New York.
 
Published June 18, 2003 by Hyperion. 432 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Education & Reference, Travel, War, Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical, Business & Economics. Non-fiction

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William Eaton, brash and defiant diplomat, is dispatched to Tripoli in 1805 by Thomas Jefferson to free 300 American hostages in what became the first U.S. covert mission to overthrow a foreign nation.

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Kirkus Reviews

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Kidd was no pirate, historian Zacks (History Laid Bare, not reviewed, etc.) argues in this solidly documented historical thriller, but a New York sea captain with a house, wife, and child on Wall Street, and with a special commission from King William III and other notables to hunt pirates and di...

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Publishers Weekly

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The leader of that motley array of mercenaries, Muslim tribesmen, Hamet's retainers and a handful of U.S. Marines was the colorful and combative William Eaton, who led them more than 500 miles across the desert to "the shores of Tripoli."

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Publishers Weekly

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Aside from the tightly constructed plot, Zacks also wonderfully evokes the social and political life of the 17th century at land and at sea, and he takes turns at debunking and validating pirate folklore: while it appears the dead giveaway of a skull and crossbones made it a rare flag choice, Zac...

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In the early nineteenth century, Tripoli ruler Bashaw Yussef uses a force of pirates to terrorize the seas (nation sponsored terrorism even in early 1800s).

Jun 01 2005 | Read Full Review of The Pirate Hunter: The True S...

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