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Eric Jay Dolin

Författare till Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America

14 verk 1,946 medlemmar 35 recensioner 2 favoritmärkta

Om författaren

Eric Jay Dolin is the best-selling author of Leviathan and Black Flags, Blue Waters, among other books. He and his family live in Marblehead, Massachusetts.

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Long and complex tale of intersecting voyages, heroism, treachery and the perils of sea travel before modern technology.
ritaer | 1 annan recension | Jul 15, 2024 |
"It was war, but it began as a very strange war, initially waged without complete conviction." While textbooks teach solidarity and heroism, in truth from 1773 thru 1775, the people of the American colonies were torn. Leading citizens and politicians hoped for reconciliation, with protest directed at Britain's Parliament and its unjust laws rather than the King himself. Colonies were separate entities, with no obligation to financially or militarily assist one another. Under blockade, Massachusetts was the first to authorize privateers in 1775 with Rhode Island close behind. It was even a Mass. privateer that provided Washington with secret British documents, all before the Declaration of Independence. It was a fine investment, with Washington, Franklin and Jefferson funding little "navies" or issuing letters of marque. It wasn't until Oct 1775 that Congress approved a proper navy, but this didn't stop private ventures. The disruption of British trade in the Caribbean finally convinced France, Spain, and Netherlands to form an alliance, assuring an American victory.

"Rebels at Sea" has all the action of the American Revolution but in an entirely different theatre. Cobbled together on the fly, the American side was made up of private citizens, privateers and the new Continental navy. Dolin stresses that patriotism and the pursuit of profit were not mutually exclusive, as much as we would like to believe otherwise. Britain had massively powerful ships of the line so we had to counter with speed and intelligence rather than size. Both sides have major losses with some Americans shamefully engaging in full blown piracy, which Dolin does not overlook. He also introduces the reader to various captains, prisoners and life aboard, accompanied by plenty of wild but true first hand accounts. Highly, highly recommend!
… (mer)
asukamaxwell | 1 annan recension | Jul 15, 2024 |
This is a harrowing tale of survival in the remote South Atlantic. It all started in early 1812, with the "Nanina" and her captain, Charles Barnard left New York. The plan was to go sealing in the Falkland Islands and sell the skins for a worthy profit in Guangzhou, all while dodging a war between the United States and Great Britain! After the Americans settle in, unbeknownst to them, the brig "Isabella" has beached nearby. It was carrying former penal-colony prisoners back home to England. After a dramatic encounter, an agreement is reached and Charles offers to take the passengers home. To guarantee enough supplies, Charles goes out with a hunting party to replenish. Upon their return the Nanina is gone. War had successfully snuck into the Falklands and the Nanina and its defenseless passengers had been captured as a prize...

First of all, I devoured this book in two days. I had never heard this tale of survival before, and I'm glad for that. I couldn't put the book down! How Charles and his crew mates ever managed to survive at the bottom of the world is nothing short of a miracle. Someone of lesser skill probably would've focused solely on Charles, relying heavily on his published account, but Dolin understands that each person (and animal) had an important role to play in this saga. There's a perfect balance between the castaways' storyline and that of the captured escapees. Dolin also provides enough of the ongoing war for context, without ruining the pacing of the story. After all, being a prisoner of war in many ways is worse. Out of the pan and into the fire. There were so many chances for failure and yet hope remained and justice prevailed. I strongly recommend this one!
… (mer)
asukamaxwell | 1 annan recension | Apr 21, 2024 |
Before diving into the Golden Age of Piracy, Dolin sets the scene with the Treaty of Tordesillas and the circumnavigation of the globe by Drake, which was summed up quite nicely.. Then from the 1640s to the 1680s he describes how the American colonies developed a profitable relationship with pirates. Even Puritan Governor John Winthrop of Massachusetts welcomed them with open arms. "Red Sea Men" as they were called, brought in the first silver bullion and hundreds of America's earliest slaves. Besides the more infamous names, we're introduced to Dixie Bull, Thomas Paine, Michel Landresson, Thomas Pound, Thomas Tew, Adam Baldridge, John James, John Quelch, Lewis Guittar and more. Then of course there are the determined pirate hunters: Thomas Thacker, William Dyer, Captain Pease, Robert Snead, Lord Bellomont and even Salem Witch Trial judge Samuel Sewall. But with pirate booty lining the pockets of prominent merchants and royal governors, it would take new laws and a complete political overhaul to reel in the pirates' success.

Dolin really delivers here. Black Flags, Blue Waters fills in some of the gaps that other pirate histories leave behind. I appreciated that this one stuck to the American colonies, rather than focusing solely on Jamaica and Madagascar. People tend to forget that the pirates may have raided int he Caribbean but they unloaded in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and Charleston. But Dolin doesn't overpower the reader with every little prize taken or world politics either. He effectively proves that pirates had a direct effect on the economy, the local government and inter-colonial relationships. The colonies were as active in the Golden Age of Piracy as any island in the Caribbean.
… (mer)
asukamaxwell | 1 annan recension | Apr 16, 2024 |



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