Author Dolin discusses American pirates Sunday in Custom House

Eric Jay Dolan (ericjaydolan.com)
Eric Jay Dolan (ericjaydolan.com)

I'd like to find the cretin who first, imitating a pirate, snarled, "Aaaaaaaargh!" and keelhaul him. Then I'd like to isolate all the cretins who then imitated THAT cretin and continue to do so by snarling "Aaaaaaargh!" every time the subject of pirates comes up. I'll make them walk the plank.

Because those people have ruined pirates. Hell, we even had a dog nicknamed Old Pirate until "Aaaaaaargh!" started — and that ended that. We couldn't call the dog without ... well, you know.

Maybe author Eric Jay Dolin can restore order. His newest book, "Black Flags, Blue Waters," reveals the astonishing and bizarre history of American piracy from the late 1600s into the early 1700s — a period when American colonists originally supported pirate activity in a political strategy against the British. Whoops.

Dolin's book is cinemascopic in its rich detail and oft-bloody accounts of bucanners like Blackbeard, Captain Kidd and Edward Low, not to mention historical figures such as Benjamin Franklin, Cotton Mather and John Winthrop.

Dolin will be onhand Sunday in New London's Custom House Maritime Museum to discuss and sign copies of "Black Flags, Blue Waters." Do NOT say "Aaaaargh" or, for that matter, any "Yo ho ho" quips.

Eric Jay Dolin, 4 p.m. Sunday, Custom House Maritime Museum, 125 Bank St., New London; free but registration recommended; (860) 447-2501.

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