Written by Angus Konstam
Review by Cindy Vallar

While other pirates have faded from memory, Blackbeard still conjures up vivid imagery of pirates terrorizing people and shipping for about two years in the early 18th century. This notorious pirate has been the subject of many books, but Konstam’s aim is to separate the man from the myth. He strives to understand why Blackbeard went from legal privateer to outlaw, why other pirates joined his crew, and why he met such a bloody end. The author intersperses the narrative with the basic fundamentals of piracy, as well as background and motivations of the other key players who crossed paths with Blackbeard from 1716 until his death in 1718. I enjoyed reading this book, but as a pirate historian I found myself wanting to pass over sections of text because I already knew the information contained there. I wanted to learn more about Blackbeard, but his story equates to only two or three chapters. I recommend Blackbeard to readers unfamiliar with the Golden Age of Piracy rather than those already familiar with Blackbeard and pirates in general.