No Quarter: an Anarchist Zine about Pirates

Tuesday, January 23, 1990

Pirate Utopias : Moorish Corsairs & European Renegadoes by Peter Lamborn Wilson

For me this is the book that started it all. If not an interest in pirates, for what young boy is not interested in pirates, then certainly a burgeoning interest in radical piratology. When I saw a reference to this book I wondered at the title: What could it mean, Pirate Utopias? I could not resist my curiosity and thank goodness I didn’t. Wilson herein chronicles the Pirate Republic of Sale in Morocco. He focuses on European renegadoes - Christian converts to Islam (thousands of them) - who along with Moorish corsairs ravaged European shipping from the 16th to 19th century. He asks “Were these men (and women) the scum of the seas, apostates, traitors – “Renegadoes”? Or did they abandon and betray Christendom as a praxis of social resistance?”. How does he bring Ireland into the mix, or Brooklyn? I’m afraid you’ll just have to read it and find out. If you have any interest in radical piratology and you haven’t read this book, please do. It is easily the most inspired and inspiring book about pirates I’ve ever read. Wilson’s detailed research is coupled with the wild originality typical of his writing. I could hardly be more enthusiastic about this book.

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