A New Look at the Pirates of Yore

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hook.jpgIn the interest of stable government, just about every nation supports the death penalty for captured pirates. But piracy flourishes where governments are not stable, and new research suggests it's more complex than reputation suggests. In 1719, pirates off Sierra Leone saved a captain when his crew said they “never were with a better Man.” Off Central America, pirate booty was distributed by a democratic vote. Do today's Somali pirates also behave by codes of conduct? Caleb Crain's “Bootylicious” appears in this week's New Yorker.




Warren Olney