Cover image for The pirate hunter the true story of Captain Kidd
The pirate hunter the true story of Captain Kidd
Zacks, Richard.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
[United States?] : Tantor Media, [2003]

Physical Description:
16 audio discs : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Compact discs.

Format :
Audiobook on CD


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
G537.K5 Z33 2003 Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks

On Order



Captain Kidd has gone down in history as America's most ruthless buccaneer, fabulously rich, burying treasure up and down the eastern seaboard. But it turns out that most everyone, from novelists to scholars, has the story all wrong. Captain William Kidd was no career cutthroat; he was a tough, successful New York sea captain who was hired to chase pirates in the 1690s. His three-year odyssey aboard the aptly named Adventure Galley would pit him against arrogant Royal Navy commanders, jealous East India Company captains, storms, starvation, angry natives, and, above all, flesh-and-blood pirates. Captain Kidd found himself facing a long-forgotten rogue by the name of Robert Culliford, who lured Kidd's crew to mutiny not once but twice.

Through painstaking research, author Richard Zacks has pieced together the never-before-told story of Kidd versus Culliford, of pirate hunter versus pirate, as they fought each other in an unscripted duel across the oceans of the world. One man would hang in the harbor; the other would walk away with the treasure. The Pirate Hunter delivers something rare: an authentic pirate story for grown-ups.

Author Notes

Richard Zacks is the author of History Laid Bare and An Underground Education .
Michael Prichard is a professional narrator and stage and film actor who has played several thousand characters during his career. An Audie Award winner, he has recorded well over five hundred books and has earned several AudioFile Earphones Awards. Michael was also named a Top Ten Golden Voice by SmartMoney magazine.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

We all know Captain Kidd, the bloodthirsty pirate who murdered and plundered his way across the seven seas, sailing under the skull and crossbones. Well, it turns out that pretty much everything we know about Kidd is wrong. He wasn't a pirate; he was a privateer, commissioned by the British government to hunt pirates. He wasn't ruthless; as a matter of fact, he was a family man, with a wife and daughter waiting back home, which wasn't some decrepit shanty but a well-appointed house on New York's Wall Street. This surprising, eye-opening book completely changes our perception of Captain William Kidd, a nice Scottish fellow who would be quite shocked to learn what we think of him these days. It also introduces us to a genuinely ruthless pirate, Robert Culliford, who was to bring much calamity to Kidd's life. Zacks fills our minds with the sights, sounds, and even the smells of the seventeenth century, and he rescues William Kidd from eternal damnation. A lively, educational, thoroughly spellbinding trip back in time. David Pitt.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Entertaining, richly detailed and authoritatively narrated, Zacks's account of the life of legendary seaman William Kidd delivers a first-rate story. Though Kidd, better known as Captain Kidd, was inextricably bound with piracy and has popularly gone down as a marauding buccaneer himself, Zacks (An Underground Education) argues that he was actually a mercenary backed by the English government and several New World investors to track down pirates and reclaim their stolen wares. The book is cogent and replete with supporting evidence without the heavy-handed feel of some scholarly work. What really sets the book apart is Zacks's gift as researcher and storyteller. He highlights the role of an undeniable pirate, Robert Culliford, in Kidd's tale and pits the two men against each other from the outset, constructing his book as an intriguing duel. Aside from the tightly constructed plot, Zacks also wonderfully evokes the social and political life of the 17th century at land and at sea, and he takes turns at debunking and validating pirate folklore: while it appears the dead giveaway of a skull and crossbones made it a rare flag choice, Zacks contends that pirates did often wear extravagant clothing and were as drunk, cursing, hungry, horny... and violent as myth would have them. Augmented by such details and driven by a conflict between Kidd and Culliford that keeps the pages flying, Zacks's book is a treasure, indeed. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved