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The late seventeenth century in America was important as an era of transition from rough settlement to established provincial life. It was a time when social, political, and economic problems caused strains that led to religious doubt, personal anxiety, riot, and one of the worst rebellions in the colonies.
Ritchie demonstrates that even dashing scoundrels were slaves to economics in this lively history of piracy. He focuses on the shadowy figure of William Kidd, whose career in the late 17th century swept him from the Caribbean to New York, to London, to the Indian Ocean before he ended in Newgate prison and on the gallows.