The Pirates of Somalia

The Pirates of Somalia

Inside Their Hidden World

Book - 2011
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For centuries, stories of pirates have captured the imagination of people everywhere. But the recent gangs of daring, ragtag pirates off the coast of Somalia, hijacking huge ships owned by international conglomerates, have brought the scourge of piracy into the modern era. The world sees nothing but opportunistic bands of local bandits, but Jay Bahadur, the only Western journalist to venture so deeply into this world, truly sees how it operates.

In The Pirates of Somalia, Bahadur ventures to Puntland, a region in northeastern Somalia, and tells of the pirates' lives beyond the attack skiffs: how they spend their money, how they conduct business, how they think and why they risk their lives in often suicidal missions. In the remote pirate havens of Somalia, Bahadur sits down and talks with some of the pirates, their cheeks bulging with khat (the local drug of choice), their cellphones ringing as the men conduct their business. Bahadur also talks to some of the security personnel tasked with combating piracy, as well as with former pirate hostages who lived on their ships for months while awaiting news of a ransom.

The Pirates of Somalia is a major first book by a young freelance journalist who talks his way into one of the world's most dangerous places.

Publisher: Toronto : HarperCollins, 2011
Edition: 1st Canadian edition
ISBN: 9781554686827
Branch Call Number: 364.164 BAH 2011
Characteristics: 272 p. : ill., maps


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May 24, 2016

Agree with previous posts that there is a lot of conjecture, particularly around the finance of pirate operations, that it just get's a little too much to read and to be believable.

That's later in the book though, what I did thoroughly enjoy was a little snapshot into the lives of Somali people and the meetings the author had with pirates.

Sep 05, 2013

Just found this a little too wandering and in some places the conjecture seemed entirely invented without much or any basis. Worthwhile sometimes for a peek inside a certain world, I could never tell if the author was being led by the nose and didn't know it, or was just trying to give these people a say.

Apr 14, 2013

Worth reading.......but after awhile it gets all muddled. Too much information.....however...worth at least a try to read through it.

Nov 05, 2011

This is a worthwhile subject and the author does have a section lightly outlining some things he thinks should be done and should not be done. But unfortunately most of the book is muddled. Instead of organizing the book into chapters each of which explores a facet of the problem, he had chosen to use chapters that simply reflect the sequence in which he interviewed people and the text of those interviews (plus his immediate reactions during the interviews. This means that each facet of the overall subject appears divided among several chapters and each chapter covers various subjects to various degrees. So subjects are intermingled, important inferences are usually not drawn and the reader is left to do analysis and synthesis on his/her own.

debwalker Aug 11, 2011

That around the world cruise that goes through the seas off East Africa - crossed off the bucket list!

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