• The Republic of Pirates

  • Being the True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates and the Man Who Brought Them Down
  • By: Colin Woodard
  • Narrated by: Lewis Grenville
  • Length: 13 hrs and 26 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (7,300 ratings)

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The Republic of Pirates

By: Colin Woodard
Narrated by: Lewis Grenville
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Publisher's Summary

The untold story of a heroic band of Caribbean pirates whose defiance of imperial rule inspired revolt in colonial outposts across the world. 

In the early 18th century, the Pirate Republic was home to some of the great pirate captains, including Blackbeard, "Black Sam" Bellamy, and Charles Vane. Along with their fellow pirates - former sailors, indentured servants, and runaway slaves - this "Flying Gang" established a crude but distinctive democracy in the Bahamas, carving out their own zone of freedom in which servants were free, Blacks could be equal citizens, and leaders were chosen or deposed by a vote. They cut off trade routes, sacked slave ships, and severed Europe from its New World empires. And for a brief, glorious period, the Republic was a success. 

©2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc. (P)2015 Blackstone Audiobooks

Featured Article: Go on a Swashbuckling Adventure with These Pirate Audiobooks and Podcasts


From classic sagas of buccaneers commanding the seas to fantasy novels featuring high-tech spacefarers, there's something about pirates that gets our hearts pumping and imaginations soaring! If you love a good adventure story, then you'll want to be sure to check out this list of the best audiobooks and podcasts with pirates, featuring both fiction and nonfiction. Whether you're a seadog or scallywag, a kid or grown up, find your next great pirate listen here.

What listeners say about The Republic of Pirates

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
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Story
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Audible is better

I bought this book over 5 years ago and read half of it. The book is filled with so much information that's it's difficult to keep interested while reading, but the audible version is like having your very own personal story teller. The information, when being read to, seem to sink in a lot more, opposed to reading it myself. Over all, this book really captures the true nature of our maritime history and the propaganda that was created to end the golden era of the Pirates.

151 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Reads like a novel

If you're into pirates, you're going to love this book. It follows the lives of several of the most notorious pirates in a narrative fashion that's engaging and exciting to follow.

101 people found this helpful

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History that reads like fiction

Where does The Republic of Pirates rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is in my top 3 of pirate history books. Very compelling and well written.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Henry Avery. His story was fascinating and it would seem he did what he thought was the right thing at the time.

What does Lewis Grenville bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He is a very capable narrator. Clear diction, and no mouth or breath noises.

58 people found this helpful

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Good research!

What made the experience of listening to The Republic of Pirates the most enjoyable?

Getting to know the pirates on a more personal basis than what History class taught;

Which character – as performed by Lewis Grenville – was your favorite?

Edward Teach (Blackbeard) was truly diabolical.

38 people found this helpful

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  • Ky
  • 11-18-15

Excellent Book

if love history, pirates or both then this is the book for you. great info and we'll narrated

31 people found this helpful

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More Information than I expected

Would you listen to The Republic of Pirates again? Why?

Not sure if I will listen to the book over and over. I read it because I was interested in the subject. It did a good job of covering the topic and increasing my knowledge.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The pirates themselves and the way they thought were my favorite characters.

Which scene was your favorite?

This is a history so I did not have a favorite scene.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

My reaction to the book was one of interest. Governments cared and then they did not care at all about the pirates and there territories. They used pirates as they wished. They commissioned them and they hanged them. It was a risky business to be a leader of a pirate band. Communication was very slow and because of this it helped and hurt the pirates and the colonial leaders in the area.

Any additional comments?

Colin Woodard really studied the subject well. It is the best book I have read on the subject and I have read several. Lewis Grenville did a very good job of presenting the book. I am just glad I was not born during that time.

28 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable for fans of the golden age of pirates

Slow at times, bogged down by too much detail, the book is still a lot of fun to listen to. If one wants to know more about the golden age, it is a wealth of information, and told as the story of Black Sam Bellemy, Blackbeard, Benjamin Hornigold, Charles Vane, Anne Bonney, and Woods Rogers as well as a few others. Well worth a listen.

22 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Pretty interesting content, but crap narration

I've listened to 259 books in my 7 years as an Audible member, and this is only the second book I wasn't able to at least power through. The narrator has a really distracting rhythm, pausing at strange points during the reading. It's extremely unfortunate because it truly is an interesting story

20 people found this helpful

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This. was a. very hard. book. to listen. to.

Due to. the many. starts. and stops. this book. did not. flow well. It was. an. interesting . story. but due to. the way it. was narrated. it was. at times. hard. to follow.

17 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Some Incredible Stories, Told A Bit Too Rigidly

Some incredible stories of piracy and pirate-hunting within, but falls into that nonfiction trap of over-explaining certain aspects in obsessive detail, sometimes sabotaging its own inherently interesting subject matter. This book made me appreciate Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag a lot more, which features many of the same historical characters- I'd recommend playing through that one as you read this. Great audible narrator. [AUDIBLE]

15 people found this helpful

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  • Pete M
  • 08-07-18

An interesting read

The only thing I didn’t like was the American reader, American pronunciations to British places etc did jar somewhat. Overall a great and informative book.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Helen
  • 08-09-21

Don't buy it

Really struggled to finish it. Some interesting parts but no deep analysis, which makes it indistinguishable from the source the author has got all of his research from.

That the author just skips over major pirates (eg Bartholomew Roberts) because its outside the relam he places on himself is bizarre and has quite literally told the story of the golden age of pirates but omitting key points he doesn't 'fancy' putting in? It's weird.

As I said it leans so much on the primary source of the general history of pyrates, you're better off listening to that instead which has far more. General History will also tell you about more than just America (which was strange of this book to do so as the Republic was Nassau), you'll hear about Brazil, more of Africa and across the Caribbean giving you a more rounded view of the scope of Piracy.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Simon Hathaway
  • 12-11-18

Fascinating story spoiled by poor narration.

A rich and fascinating story of pirate history unfortunately spoiled by poor narration and pronunciation.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jon
  • 04-02-22

AC4 fan looking for some confirmation?

I looked for a book like this because I'm an AC4 fan, this dramatised history book is enjoyable to listen to and confirms a lot of characters, events from AC4 (obviously not all events and characters) but the parallels are nice and I enjoyed this book as a result.

American narrator was OKAY, but a little dry at times. Lots of English, Spanish and French names get butchered but it's understandable.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-06-21

Okay-ish

Starts of strong, great information on 3 most notorious pirats, who they were and how they got to be as they were. However, a metric ton of name dropping, some did not feel entirely relative, thus caused me to loose track and interest towards the end.

Should you listen to it?
If its your study area and you need to know all minor trivial details: Absolutely!

If you want to learn about pirates and history: Sure but be warned.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Daniel Hall
  • 02-15-21

Genuinely interesting Pirate Lore

This is the only Audible book I have listened to multiple times. I love Pirate history and this is extremely comprehensive and well read/researched. It can be very detailed at times (great for me) but nothing that detracts from an excellent place to learn all about your favourite Pirates ☠

Superb.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kellie Banks
  • 09-22-19

I was expecting tales of pirates, I got facts and figures

Meh not the best audible book. There where bits that if it was a book you would clearly skim read over and move on swiftly. Unfortunately whilst driving to work in the morning and going from stories to then figures of how much things are worth gets rather drab.
I didn’t finish this book for the safety of other drivers, it was so very very boring zzzzzz. I’m a very nautical person, I work in a chandlery and yet even I couldn’t cope with how factual and number orintated this book was.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • RICKY BREWSTER
  • 05-24-22

World of real Pirates

If you’re just starting your own journey into the history of pirates then this book is a good place to start.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • phil chadwick
  • 03-29-22

Great story - really well narrated

All I knew before reading this book was a bit about Blackbeard, but this book was really really interesting. This was told from a very human perspective, including details about what life was like in the Royal Navy, about Privateers and about how Pirates became popular.

This is not just a dry recounting of events, this book tells you about the backgrounds of the main men involved and how they ended up in the Carribean.

It is also written from multiple different points of view, in chronological order ( bit like Game of Thrones), so does a good job of trying to paint the bigger picture. Really enjoyed this book and would recommend

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr
  • 02-14-22

Balances a good yarn with decent history.

It's a fine path to tread conveying the reality of the world of 18th century pirates: they were simultaneously sympathetic, loathsome, pitiable, contemptable, idealistic, squalid, high-minded, venal, enlightened, and barbaric. It's a credit to Woodard that he manages to convey all of these intricacies, *and* to convey the underlying political and economic realities of the world they inhabited: AND manages to retain the sense of excitement and adventure that the story of the Golden Age of Piracy undoubtedly has.

The book also does a good job of highlighting how brutally hard life was for almost everyone in the 18th century, especially those who went to sea, be they white, black or native. And that context will supply those who are open to hear it with a much better understanding of the mindsets of those involved.

I did flinch a little bit every time he referred to the Hanoverian British government as "The English" in the context of the Jacobite wars. and I'm hoping that's the only questionable piece of narrative in the book, rather than merely the only one I noticed.

Some people seem to have had a problem with the narrator, but I found his delivery quite satisfactory, and his voice quite suitable for the source material.