Stephan Talty: Empire of Blue Water



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Of libraries It took some fiddling to et the files into a format that would play on my iPod but persistence paid off It sure beats loading and ripping individual CDs checked out from my local library Pirates and Henry Morgan as one of the better known ones are seldom a boring read and this fast paced biography is no exception Pirates or privateers military strategy the silver train the shear brutality of the pirate life all make fascinating reading with a background of the dominant Spanish and the English French Dutch and Portuguese largely playing second fiddle to them certainly in the Caribbean and the New World of Central and South America This book does well to keep up the pace in outlining the political setting concurrent with Morgan s life There are plenty of exciting battles hard times pirate loot and plenty of Morgan mocking the Spanis While this was an entertaining interesting read there was one thing that stuck out which I can t help but comment on only because this type of narrative in this day and age really should not be pushed any longer during the early portion of the book Talty briefly describes the early conuest of Mexico He states that the Mexica outright believed that Cortes was uetzalcoatlwhich as someone who has spent some time elbows deep in the indigenous history of Mexico however brief the semester felt is incorrect Since I didn t read a physical copy of this book to see where he was etting his sources I can only assume that Talty relied on a Spanish account of the conuest Honestly while this seems like a small thing and I understand it is within the context of this book it is really not appropriate in this day and age when we have indigenous primary sources that state otherwise and are able to note the bias in the Spanish primary sources too Have you ever wanted to know the truth about the Pirates of the CaribbeanHave you ever wondered the difference between a pirate a privateer and a buccaneer Did you uestion how Captain Henry Morgan could have been both a pirate and a knightHave you ever heard of the reat earthuake that occurred in Port Royal Jamaica in 1692This book provides the answers to these ueries and The author has found an impressive number of primary sources from which to draw information Talty is particularly adept at describing the vicious battles initiated by the pirates in their insatiable desire for plunder He does not shy away from describing the cruelty torture and debauchery of a piratical life One wonders how these criminals can be as romanticized as they are in entertainment Talty provides an in depth biography of Morgan 1635 1688 while also imparting a wealth of information on English Spanish and French history The reader learns details about battles on the Spanish Main including Granada Portobelo Maracaibo and Panama It explains the reasons behind the rise and fall of the pirates under Morgan I found it ripping informative and eye opening Having recently reviewed Colin Woodard s excellent history of Caribbean piracy The Republic of Pirates and realizing that I had name checked this book in that review I thought it necessary to dust off an older review that I had in the can for Stephan Talty s Empire of Blue Water It s certainly a worthwhile exercise to pick up this book if like me you are spending some of your winter months dreaming of beaches and sand and things of a nautical nature Which reminds me I really need to start planning this summer s trip to the coast Empire of Blue Water is a worthy addition to the canon of privateering and buccaneer histories More of a narrative account than a dry recitation of historical documentation it maintains its momentum all the way to the end It s not a large work but it packs a wealth of fun information inside its coversThe book covers the period fr. Ies helped shape the destiny of the New WorldMorgan athered disaffected European sailors and soldiers hard bitten adventurers runaway slaves and vicious cutthroats and turned them into the most feared army in the Western Hemisphere Sailing out from the English stronghold of Port Royal Jamaica “the wickedest city in the New World” Morgan and his men terrorized Spanish merchant ships and devastated the cities where reat riches in silver old and ems lay waiting His last raid a daring assault.

Om the mid to late 1600s opening with Britain s capture of Jamaica from its Spanish settlers The taking of Jamaica was a serious blow to the Spanish Empire rocking it to its very core especially in light of Jamaica s advantageous eographical position in the middle of the Caribbean shipping lanes Talty follows the rise of Henry Morgan perhaps the most famous privateer of his The Wolfs Healing Touch (Wolves of Stone Ridge generation The tension rises as Morgan begins a systematic campaign of mostly state sponsored pillaging and looting of the Spanish Empire in the New World Empire of Blue Water does aood job of relating what it must have been like to be a privateer in that time To move his narrative along Talty creates a composite character named Roderick with the intention of The Draft giving the reader a window into the life of one such adventurer This literary trick works most of time as the author follows Roderick through many a tight spot Roderick s life was hard one no doubt but the reader alsoets the impression that men like Roderick wouldn t have had it any other wayThe book is full of the political intrigue of the time and it does a ood job of covering the basic historical drivers in play during the period Talty s impression of the Spanish Empire is not particularly favorable as he continually drives home the point that the Spanish political system itself was often its own worst enemy Caught in overbearing tradition and bureaucracy the Spanish are often cast as bumblers and malcontentsIt should also be noted that Morgan was a privateer rather than a pirate His raids were done under the cover of state sponsored commissions a detail that Morgan took very seriously as he was at heart a man of the CrownThe book is a bit weak on source material using a journal by John Esuemeling called Buccaneers of America as its primary source Esuemeling was a member of Morgan s crew and his somewhat sensationalist account of what happened on those fateful voyages should be taken with a rain of salt Talty himself admits as much at various times in the book but he liberally uotes from Esuemeling anyway Nonetheless this is a fruitful read if you have any sort of interest in the Caribbean history of privateering I would definitely recommend this book I was surprised how much I didn t know about pirates or at least how little is accurately described in popular culture It really is kind of a war book mostly full of descriptions of battles and stuff but they are interesting battles and it s really impressive to see some of the tactics the pirates used This book will challenge everything you ve learned about pirates from the movies Real pirates were brutal less well dressed and drunker than in any movie They were also utterly profligate which attributed to their demise as much as the iron fist of any overnmentOne of the most enlightening aspects of Blue Water has to be the analysis of shocking level of ineptitude with which Spain administered her colonies Without the noncontribution of the Spanish the pirates would have had a much harder time of achieving the successes that they did in the Caribbean Satisfying read for this history buff It is rare to find a history book which utilizes a narrative style that so immediate and engrossing as well as inclusive of satisfactory historical and cultural background to make sense of the topic Talty s prose has the cinematic uality of a ood novel that does not hesitate to inform as it entertains A book worthy of its subject the lost era of the real pirates of the Caribbean and the formerly shadowy figure of Sir Henry Morgan is this the rum s namesake I cannot recommend this enough as biography history and sheer escapism at its best The final chapter on the Port Royal earthuake of 1692 reads as an almost Homeric coda and was worth reading as much as the entire book itsel. On the fabled city of Panama helped break Spain’s hold on the Americas forever Awash with bloody battles political intrigues natural disaster and a cast of characters compelling bizarre and memorable than any found in a Hollywood swashbuckler including the notorious pirate L’Ollonais the soul tortured King Philip IV of Spain and Thomas Modyford the crafty English overnor of Jamaica Empire of Blue Water brilliantly re creates the passions and the violence of the age of exploration and empir.

Right off the top you should be asking 5 Stars for a book about pirates Koivu Yeah well I have a thing for stories about randy seaman oing after sweet sweet booty what can I say Talty s pen puts a nice flourish on history that s appreciated but hardly necessary considering his colorful source material Patriotic Welshman Captain Morgan may not have seen himself as a pirate after all he was only doing his duty for England but if you were the Spanish in the Caribbean Islands at the time he was tearing the place up in your eyes Morgan was the lowest of the low You also knew he was to be feared for his sudden and violent attacks as well as his intelligence and uncanny ability to et himself and his vicious though loyal men out of numerous seemingly inescapable scrapes Talty relates story after story each with an exciting flair we ve come to know so well from actors like Flynn to Depp portraying Hollywood versions of what in this book is uite real If you re not into bloody minded treasure hunting pirates making daring raids and escapes during ye olden day of the age of sail well perhaps this is not for youAnd now I ll have to ask you to leave Wow I feel like I ve ot to take a week off after reading this one A lot happens man This is one of those books that proves reality is far incredible than fictionI can say nothing than that this must be the epitome of pirate literature it may not be pirate Bible but it s pirate Shakespeare at the very least Loved it Henry Morgan is a colossal figure in history and this book ives him his due I read Cup of Gold by John Steinbeck about a thousand years ago also about Henry Morgan and loved it at the time but this book blows that one right out of the water yes with a nice broadside My thanks to Bettie whose site I found this on Pirates or privateers always make sensational subjects so author Stephan Talty didn t need much embellishment to make the tale of Henry Morgan into a fast paced and thrilling book I ve read a handful of other accounts of Morgan and other privateers and found this one of the most successful renderings And while Morgan cuts a definite dash Talty doesn t shy from making it clear that it was ruthlessness as well as leadership skills strategic thinking and inventiveness that led to his success Interestingly Morgan was best operating on land not sea as one might assume It was his epic land based raids that assured his fame not pitched sea battles though there is one wonderful episode involving the brilliant use of a fire ship that is the exception What I found especially interesting however was the how Spanish inflexibility and bureaucracy in the New World made it relatively simple for Morgan to defeat them time and again Talty s descriptions of the bizarre workings of the Spanish court the historical background on the shifting alliances among the British French Spanish and Dutch and the details of Morgan s campaigns were all masterfully done He ave vivid accounts of both the top and bottom of the social ladder summoning images that made for example death obsessed Philip IV of Spain spring to life Talty has a vivid style too that made listening to the tale even enjoyableI d be remiss not to mention the reader of this audiobook John Mayer who not only has the ideal voice for reading such a swashbuckling tale but who injected a certain humor and relish into the reading that struck a suitable piratical tone Mayer s pacing and reading of the text only improved upon it and were always a delight This reading is an abridged version of the book I understand but I can t think that reading the full text would be any improvement there are no tell tale Fake Mustache gaps thatave away the abridgmentThis was the first of what I hope will be many audio CDs downloaded from a website maintained by a state wide consortium. He challenged the reatest empire on earth with a ragtag bunch of renegades and brought it to its knees Empire of Blue Water is the real story of the pirates of the CaribbeanHenry Morgan a twenty year old Welshman crossed the Atlantic in 1655 hell bent on making his fortune Over the next three decades his exploits in the Caribbean in the service of the English became legendary His daring attacks on the mighty Spanish Empire on land and at sea determined the fates of kings and ueens and his victor.

Stephan Talty î 7 Review

Stephan Talty is the New York Times bestselling author of six acclaimed books of narrative nonfiction as well as the Abbie Kearney crime novels Originally from Buffalo he now lives outside New York CityTalty began as a widely published journalist who has contributed to the New York Times Magazine G Men’s Journal Time Out New York Details and many other publications He is the author of t