New York : Riverhead Books, 2010.
xx, 343 pages : illustrations, map ; 24 cm

It's easy to think of piracy as a romantic way of life long gone--if not for today's headlines of robbery and kidnapping on the high seas. Pirates have existed since the invention of commerce itself, but they reached the zenith of their power during the 1600s, when the Mediterranean was the crossroads of the world, and pirates were the scourge of Europe and the glory of Islam. They attacked ships, enslaved crews, plundered cargoes, enraged governments, and swayed empires. Historian Adrian Tinniswood brings alive this chapter in history, where clashes between pirates of the East--Tunis, Algiers, and Tripoli--and governments of the West--England, France, Spain, and Venice--grew increasingly intense and dangerous, and he shows how their maneuverings between the Muslim empires and Christian Europe shed light on the religious and moral battles that still rage today.--From publisher description.