Patriot Pirates

Patriot Pirates

The Privateer War for Freedom and Fortune in the American Revolution

Downloadable Audiobook - 2008
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They were legalized pirates empowered by the Continental Congress to raid and plunder, at their own considerable risk, as much enemy trade as they could successfully haul back to America's shores. They played a decisive role in America's struggle for independence and later turned their seafaring talents to the slave trade, revealing the conflict between enterprise and morality central to American history.In Patriot Pirates, Robert H. Patton, the grandson of the battlefield genius of World War II, writes how privateering engaged all levels of Revolutionary life, from the dockyards to the assembly halls; how it gave rise to wild speculation in purchased shares in privateer ventures, enabling sailors to make more money in a month than they might earn in a year; and how privateering created fortunes that survive to this day.As one naval historian wrote, The great battles of the American Revolution were fought on land, but independence was won at sea. Patton writes how, in addition to its strategic and economic importance, privateering played a large political role in the Revolution. For example, Benjamin Franklin, from his diplomatic post in Paris, secretly encouraged skippers to sell their captured goods in French ports-a calculated effort on Franklin's part to break the neutrality agreements between France and Britain, bring the two countries to blows, and take the pressure off American fighters. This is a sweeping tale of maritime rebel-entrepreneurs bent on personal profit and national freedom.
Published: [United States] : Tantor Media, Inc. : Made available through hoopla, 2008.
Edition: Unabridged.
ISBN: 9781400126606
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 audio file (10hr., 30 min.)) :,digital.
Additional Contributors: Sklar, Alan


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L1br0V0re Jan 16, 2013

The enemy doesn't fight fair. Congress creates unfunded mandates. The leaders back home won't take advice from commanders in the field. The navy has to compete with the private sector for recruits and supplies. The mightiest army in the world underestimates the resolve, resourcefulness and cunning of insurgents. Sound familiar? This book puts in perspective the devastating effectiveness of American privateers during the American Revolution, as well as the problems posed for those trying to provide oversight. It also emphasizes the global nature of the conflict, since many countries at the time authorized the raiding of their competitors' ships. American privateers even attacked seaports in the UK, which undermined British support for the war. A great read.


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