Richard Zacks - The Pirate Hunter

from the publisher:

"Entertaining, richly detailed and authoritatively narrated . . . Zack's book is a treasure, indeed." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A lively, educational, thoroughly spellbinding trip back in time." --Booklist

"Exciting, well told, and befitting the wild life of a pirate" --Kirkus Reviews

In the spirit of Nathaniel Philbrick’s In the Heart of the Sea, the true story of Captain Kidd’s adventure of betrayal and courage on the high seas.

Everybody knows the legend of Captain Kidd, America’s most ruthless buccanneer. Few people realize that the facts of his life make for a much better tale. Kidd was actually a tough New York sea captain hired to chase pirates, a married war hero whose secret mission took a spectacularly bad turn. This harrowing tale traces Kidd’s voyages in the 1690s from his home near Wall Street to Whitehall Palace in London, from the ports of the Caribbean to a secret pirate paradise off Madagascar. Author Richard Zacks, during his research, also unearthed the story of a long forgotten rogue named Robert Culliford, who dogged Kidd and led Kidd’s crew to mutiny not once but twice. The lives of Kidd and Culliford play out like an unscripted duel: one man would hang in the harbor, the other would walk away with the treasure. Filled with superb writing and impeccable research, The Pirate Hunter is both a masterpiece of historical detective work and a ripping good yarn, and it delivers something rare: an authentic pirate story for grown-ups.

Richard Zacks is the author of two non-fiction books: History Laid Bare and An Underground Education. His articles have appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Time, Village Voice, Harper’s and many other publications. He lives in Pelham, New York.