When we think of pirates it tends to be sailing the Caribbean with wooden legs, parrots and pieces of eight. But there was a whole other pirate menace for hundreds of years that operated out of the north African coast harassing ships throughout the Mediterranean. Covering the whole span of their activities this book does a nice job of covering both the characters involved and also the quasi-official politics of their situation. These were not mere renegades but in many cases the primary economic activity for many of these cities. Their rise and fall is charted in great detail. An enlightening read.