Eric Jay Dolin is the best-selling author of Leviathan and Brilliant Beacons. He and his family live in Marblehead, Massachusetts, from which the pirate John Quelch departed in 1703, and returned to in 1704, only to be hanged in Boston. With surprising tales of vicious mutineers, imperial riches, and high-seas intrigue, his latest book, Black Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America’s Most Notorious Pirates (Liveright) vividly reanimates the “Golden Age” of piracy in the Americas. Set against the backdrop of the Age of Exploration, Black Flags, Blue Waters reveals the dramatic and surprising history of American piracy’s “Golden Age” ―spanning the late 1600s through the early 1700s―when lawless pirates plied the coastal waters of North America and beyond. Through engrossing episodes of roguish glamour and extreme brutality, Dolin depicts the star pirates of this period, among them towering Blackbeard, ill-fated Captain Kidd, and sadistic Edward Low, who delighted in torturing his prey. Also, brilliantly detailed are the pirates’ manifold enemies, including colonial governor John Winthrop, evangelist Cotton Mather, and young Benjamin Franklin. Upending popular misconceptions and cartoonish stereotypes, Dolin provides this wholly original account of the seafaring outlaws whose raids reflect the precarious nature of American colonial life.