The Pirate Philosopher: a Review of David Graeber’s Pirate Enlightenment, or the Real Libertalia

Published on: January 29 / 2023

Pirate Enlightenment, or the Real Libertalia review by Annelie Hyatt, CJLC

In the last of his publications, Graeber writes in Pirate Enlightenment, or the Real Libertalia about the role of pirates in developing some of the core tenets of the Enlightenment. He pulls from the ethnographic field research that he conducted for his doctoral thesis in Madgascar, beginning what he thought would be an extended essay that turned in the process into a short book.  He wields a host of different accounts of the time period, contending with their contradictions and mythological slants to create a tentative narrative about the Golden Age of Piracy.


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