Pirate Enlightenment, or the Real Libertalia
David Graeber (Author)
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Farrar, Straus and Giroux
January 24, 2023
5.61 X 8.49 X 0.84 inches | 0.67 pounds
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About the Author
David Graeber was a professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics. He was the author of Debt: The First 5,000 Years and Bullshit Jobs: A Theory, among many others books, and the coauthor with David Wengrow of the New York Times bestseller The Dawn of Everything. He was an iconic thinker and a renowned activist, and his early efforts in Zuccotti Park made Occupy Wall Street an era-defining movement. He died on September 2, 2020
"A tour de force of anthropological scholarship and an important addition to Malagasy history . . . Certain to be controversial, but all the more important for that."
--Marcus Rediker, author of Villains of All Nations: Atlantic Pirates in the Golden Age "Daring, carefully speculative, and intellectually ambitious: all qualities that we had
come to expect of the late David Graeber. Pirate Enlightenment is a splendid example of Graeber's transformative and convincing case that the Enlightenment was a cosmopolitan and plebian concoction, fabricated far from the European centers of Enlightenment thought."
--James C. Scott "Radical, magical and enchanting: a true history of a people's Enlightenment, led by Malagasy women and egalitarian pirates at a crossroads of the world, a land of battle, foment, booty, whose inhabitants liked nothing better than pranking outsiders to spread outlandish tales of their lives."
--Cory Doctorow, author of Chokepoint Capitalism and Walkaway "In The Dawn of Everything, David Graeber urged historically minded scholars to consider the ways that human beings have continually pursued three basic freedoms, including the freedom to create new forms of social relations. In this book, he provides a fascinating example of the transformative potential of this proposition. Showing how rumored 18th century 'pirate kingdoms' established in Madagascar can be understood from the perspective of the local Malagasy population, Graeber gives us a glimpse of people, men and women, taking control of the society in which they lived, making new forms of sociality. He links this historical exploration to a second theme of the previous work, the fact that European political philosophers in the 17th and 18th century were responding to ideas coming from outside Europe, providing them inspiration to image freedoms they had not previously experienced. Pirate Enlightenment is, as the author writes, a provocation--but also an inspiration; and a great piece of story-telling." --Rosemary A. Joyce, Interim Director of Global, International, and Area Studies, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley