Against the Grain

The Egalitarian World of Pirates

Pirates are some of the most immediately recognizable figures in popular culture –- and some of the most inaccurately represented. Historian Marcus Rediker argues that the actual pirates who lived during the 17th and 18th centuries created a remarkably egalitarian world for themselves at sea, democratically electing their leaders and sharing their takings equally.


David Lester and Marcus Rediker, Under the Banner of King Death: Pirates of the Atlantic, a Graphic Novel Beacon Press, 2023

Marcus Rediker, Villains of All Nations: Atlantic Pirates in the Golden Age Verso, 2012