Pirates have long lived in the realm of romance and fantasy, symbolizing lawlessness and radical visions of freedom. What was the reality? In Madagascar, David Graeber encountered the Zana-Malata, descendants of the many pirates who settled on the island at the beginning of the 18th century. As Graeber details here, pirate societies were vibrant, imaginative experiments in self-governance and alternative social formations, prospering at the edges of the European empire.
"A tour de force of anthropological scholarship…. Certain to be controversial, but all the more important for that."—Kirkus Reviews