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Pirates in the 16th-18th Centuries, Part 1 of 2

"Pirates were an ornery lot. The movies and the novels have painted a picture of these freebooters as a romantic fraternity, and nearly always as wronged men following some noble cause. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In general, they were little more than the dregs and scum of the seaports of the world. Today we would consider them gangsters." (Excerpt from Dr. Hugh F. Rankin, history professor at the University of North Carolina, as appearing in the book, The Ocean Almanac, by Robert Hendrickson, Doubleday, 1984, pg. 203)

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