The Can’t Make This Up History Podcast

Black Flags, Blue Waters with Eric Jay Dolin

June 18, 2019

We are fascinated with pirates. Whether it's Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow, the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney, the Assassin's Creed Black Flag video game, or Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island, it seems we've always loved the Age of Piracy. But my guest today says the pirates we see in the movies don't perfectly lineup with the real pirates who sailed the high seas in the 17th and 18th centuries.

In this episode, I talk with historian Eric Jay Dolin who's most recent book, Black Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America's Most Notorious Pirates, profiles many of the pirates you know and some you've likely never heard of. Eric and I discuss how integral piracy was to colonial America, what pirate life was really like, and how the real money wasn't in the Caribbean but all the way across the globe in the Indian Ocean. Eric then tells us about the explosion of piracy in the New World following the end of the War of Spanish Succession in 1715 and the ways we started immortalizing pirates in pop culture even when there were pirates still sailing the Caribbean. 

After the show is over check out the show notes on our webpage www.cmtuhistory.com for extras and resources.