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Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea Merchant Seamen, Pirates and the Anglo-American Maritime World, 1700-1750

ISBN-10: 0521379830
ISBN-13: 9780521379830
Edition: 1989
Authors: Marcus Rediker
List price: $45.99 Buy it from $12.98 Rent it from $19.86
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Description: The common seaman and the pirate in the age of sail are romantic historical figures who occupy a special place in the popular culture of the modern age. And yet in many ways, these daring men remain little known to us. Like most other poor working  More...

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Book details

List price: $45.99
Copyright year: 1989
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 2/24/1989
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 340
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.232
Language: English

The common seaman and the pirate in the age of sail are romantic historical figures who occupy a special place in the popular culture of the modern age. And yet in many ways, these daring men remain little known to us. Like most other poor working people of the past, they left few first-hand accounts of their lives. But their lives are not beyond recovery. In this book, Marcus Rediker uses a huge array of historical sources (court records, diaries, travel accounts, and many others) to reconstruct the social cultural world of the Anglo-American seamen and pirates who sailed the seas in the first half of the eighteenth century. Rediker tours the sailor's North Atlantic, following seamen and their ships along the pulsing routes of trade and into rowdy port towns. He recreates life along the waterfront, where seafaring men from around the world crowded into the sailortown and its brothels, alehouses, street brawls, and city jail. His study explores the natural terror that inevitably shaped the existence of those who plied the forbidding oceans of the globe in small, brittle wooden vessels. It also treats the man-made terror--the harsh discipline, brutal floggings, and grisly hangings--that was a central fact of life at sea. Rediker surveys the commonplaces of the maritime world: the monotonous rounds of daily labor, the negotiations of wage contracts, and the bawdy singing, dancing, and tale telling that were a part of every voyage. He also analyzes the dramatic moments of the sailor's existence, as Jack Tar battled wind and water during a slashing storm, as he stood by his "brother tars" in a mutiny or a stike, and as he risked his neck by joining a band of outlaws beneath the Jolly Roger, the notorious pirate flag. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea focuses upon the seaman's experience in order to illuminate larger historical issues such as the rise of capitalism, the genesis the free wage labor, and the growth of an international working class. These epic themes were intimately bound up with everyday hopes and fears of the common seamen.

List of illustrations
Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Introduction
The seaman as man of the world: a tour of the North Atlantic, c. 1740
The seaman as collective worker: the labor process at sea
The seaman as wage laborer: the search for ready money
The seaman as plain dealer: language and culture at sea
The seaman as the 'spirit of rebellion': authority, violence, and labor discipline
The seaman as pirate: plunder and social banditry at sea
Conclusion: the seaman as worker of the world
Appendices
Index

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