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Somali and Golden Age Pirates: the parallels

The U.S. Navy successfully rescued the captain of an American-flagged cargo vessel from Somali pirates yesterday, ending a four-day standoff. Captain Richard Phillips was held hostage on a lifeboat after pirates seized and, later, lost control of the Maersk Alabama.

I was interviewed by The Christian Science Monitor about the possible historical lessons the official responses to the Golden Age Pirates might offer for the current situation. I described some of the extraordinary parallels between the Somali and Bahamas-based piracy outbreaks and the strategy the British successfully employed to defeat the infamous Flying Gang, described in my book, The Republic of Pirates.

-- Colin Woodard




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