The Devils Anarchy

The Other Loose Roving Way of Life & Very Remarkable Travels of Jan Erasmus Reyning, Buccaneer

By Stephen Snelders
Book Details
Author: Stephen Snelders
Publisher: Autonomedia
Page Details
Section: Book Reviews =>
Subjects: Pirates
Posted: Modified:

By rebelling against hierarchical society and living under the Jolly Roger, pirates created an upside-down world of anarchist organisation and festival, with violence and death ever-present. This creation was not a purely whimsical process. In The Devil’s Anarchy, Stephen Snelders examines rare 17th-century Dutch pirate histories to show the continuity of a shared pirate culture, embodied in its modes of organisation, methods of distributing booty and resolving disputes, and tendencies for high living. Focusing on the careers of Claes Compaen, a cunning, charismatic renegado who claimed to have stolen more than 350 vessels, and Jan Erasmus Reyning, who hit the seas at age 12 and became a buccaneer in the pirate jungles of Santo Domingo, Snelders paints a salty picture of the excesses, contradictions, and liberatory joys of pirate life. (Autonomedia)

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