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Download The Pirates of Somalia: Inside Their Hidden World Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Pirates of Somalia: Inside Their Hidden World, by Jay Bahadur Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (367 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jay Bahadur Narrator: Sunil Malhotr Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Somalia, on the tip of the Horn of Africa, has been inhabited as far back as 9,000 BC. Its history is as rich as the country is old. Caught up in a decades-long civil war, Somalia, along with Iraq and Afghanistan, has become one of the most dangerous countries in the world. Getting there from North America is a forty-five-hour, five-flight voyage through Frankfurt, Dubai, Djibouti, Bossaso (on the Gulf of Aden), and, finally, Galkayo. Somalia is a place where a government has been built out of anarchy.
For centuries, stories of pirates have captured imaginations around the world. The recent bands of daring, ragtag pirates off the coast of Somalia, hijacking multimillion-dollar tankers owned by international shipping conglomerates, have brought the scourge of piracy into the modern era.
The capture of the American-crewed cargo ship Maersk Alabama in April 2009, the first United States ship to be hijacked in almost two centuries, catapulted the Somali pirates onto prime-time news. Then, with the horrific killing by Somali pirates of four Americans, two of whom had built their dream yacht and were sailing around the world (“And now on to: Angkor Wat! And Burma!” they had written to friends), the United States Navy, Special Operation Forces, FBI, Justice Department, and the world’s military forces were put on notice: the Somali seas were now the most perilous in the world.
Jay Bahadur, a journalist who dared to make his way into the remote pirate havens of Africa’s easternmost country and spend months infiltrating their lives, gives us the first close-up look at the hidden world of the pirates of war-ravaged Somalia.
Bahadur’s riveting narrative exposé—the first ever—looks at who these men are, how they live, the forces that created piracy in Somalia, how the pirates spend the ransom money, how they deal with their hostages. Bahadur makes sense of the complex and fraught regional politics, the history of Somalia and the self-governing region of Puntland (an autonomous region in northeast Somalia), and the various catastrophic occurrences that have shaped their pirate destinies. The book looks at how the unrecognized mini-state of Puntland is dealing with the rise—and increasing sophistication—of piracy and how, through legal and military action, other nations, international shippers, the United Nations, and various international bodies are attempting to cope with the present danger and growing pirate crisis.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Bahadur has gone deep in exploring the causes of this seaborne crime wave, charting its explosive growth and humanizing the brigands who have eluded some of the world’s most powerful navies . . . [He] captures the inner workings of Somali piracy in extraordinary detail . . . Bahadur seems to admire the pirates’ audacity and resourcefulness, yet at the same time he avoids glamorizing them . . . Brave and exhaustively reported. Joshua Hammer, The New York Times Book Review 
  • Bahadur debunks myths about the roots and practices of Somali pirates and presents a remarkable analysis of piracy along the coast of the Horn of Africa . . . This intrepid reporter's fascinating account of piracy is a worthwhile read for scholars of Africa and general audiences alike. Library Journal
  • An insightful report . . . revelatory journalism and astute analysis of causes and solutions that prove far more informative than any TV footage about the contemporary piracy problem. Booklist
  • The inner workings of the world of Somali pirates are astutely explored by Bahadur. . . an engaging account, full of solid analysis. . . What’s especially impressive (aside from Bahadur’s sheer nerve in insinuating himself among these dangerous men in a lawless corner of the world) is the amassing of multiple perspectives—of pirates and policymakers—that support a rich, suspenseful account. Publishers Weekly
  • A rare inside look. . . a nicely crafted, revealing report. Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Michelle | 2/18/2014

    " This book could have been so much better! I appreciated the author's knowledge and the factual information he provided, but it would have been a much more enjoyable reading experience if he'd incorporated more of the actual stories of piracy. I'm sure there are hundreds of people who could be interviewed about their experience as a captive on a ship hijacked by Somali pirates. The part of the book about the capture and ransom of the Victoria was the most engaging, and could serve as a model for a future sequel to this one. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by rachel | 2/9/2014

    " soooo i really wanted to learn more about somalian pirates & understand why & how they end up as modern day pirates, but this book made me realize...i didn't want to know THAT much about it. there was a bit too much detail given to the economics of piracy for the boat owners and the shippers and the various countries involved that made chunks of this quite dull. i did however find the interviews with the pirates & the descriptions of their lives very illuminating. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kandice Newren | 1/22/2014

    " I read this book over a month, so there is a lot I don't remember about the book. The author does a good job of giving a basic history of Somalia. The interviews and treks he takes to learn more about the pirate problem is well thought out, and you can imagine the frustration he feels during different situations. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Dan Jones | 1/14/2014

    " Very interesting insight into the lives of the Somalian Pirates and some of the ground issues that led to piracy on the seas. "

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