The Pirates Laffite: The Treacherous World of the Corsairs of the Gulf

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An “engrossing and exciting” account of legendary New Orleans privateers Pierre and Jean Laffite and their adventures along the Gulf Coast (Booklist, starred review).
 
At large during the most colorful period in New Orleans’ history, from just after the Louisiana Purchase through the War of 1812, privateers Jean and Pierre Laffite made life hell for Spanish merchants on the Gulf. Pirates to the US Navy officers who chased them, heroes to the private citizens who shopped for contraband at their well-publicized auctions, the brothers became important members of a filibustering syndicate that included lawyers, bankers, merchants, and corrupt US officials. But this allegiance didn’t stop the Laffites from becoming paid Spanish spies, disappearing into the fog of history after selling out their own associates. William C. Davis uncovers the truth about two men who made their names synonymous with piracy and intrigue on the Gulf.
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About the author

The author of more than forty books, William C. Davis is the director of programs at the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies. He is also chief consultant for the A&E television series Civil War Journal and teaches history at Virginia Tech.
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2.7
3 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
HMH
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Published on
May 1, 2006
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Pages
720
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ISBN
9780547350752
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Criminals & Outlaws
Biography & Autobiography / Historical
History / United States / 19th Century
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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All Americans, not just Texans, remember the Alamo. But the siege and brief battle at that abandoned church in February and March 1836 were just one chapter in a much larger story -- larger even than the seven months of armed struggle that surrounded it. Indeed, three separate revolutionary traditions stretching back nearly a century came together in Texas in the 1830s in one of the great struggles of American history and the last great revolution of the hemisphere. Anglos steeped in 1776 fervor and the American revolution came seeking land, Hispanic and native Americans joined the explosion of republican uprisings in Mexico and Latin America, and the native tejanos seized on a chance for independence. As William C. Davis brilliantly depicts in Lone Star Rising, the result was an epic clash filled not just with heroism but also with ignominy, greed, and petty and grand politics.
In Lone Star Rising, Davis deftly combines the latest scholarship on the military battles of the revolution, including research in seldom used Mexican archives, with an absorbing examination of the politics on all sides. His stirring narrative features a rich cast of characters that includes such familiar names as Stephen Austin, Sam Houston, and Antonio Santa Anna, along with tejano leader Juan Seguín and behind-the-scenes players like Andrew Jackson. From the earliest adventures of freebooters, who stirred up trouble for Spain, Mexico, and the United States, to the crucial showdown at the San Jacinto River between Houston and Santa Anna there were massacres, misunderstandings, miscalculations, and many heroic men.
The rules of war are rarely stable and they were in danger of complete disintegration at times in Texas. The Mexican army often massacred its Anglo prisoners, and the Anglos retaliated when they had the chance after the battle of San Jacinto. The rules of politics, however, proved remarkably stable: The American soldiers were democrats who had a hard time sustaining campaigns if they didn't agree to them, and their leaders were as given to maneuvering and infighting as they were to the larger struggle. Yet in the end Lone Star Rising is not a myth-destroying history as much as an enlarging one, the full story behind the slogans of the Alamo and of Texas lore, a human drama in which the forces of independence, republicanism, and economics were made manifest in an unforgettable group of men and women.
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