Quarantine Book Club — Steven Johnson | Enemy of All Mankind: A True Story of Piracy, Power, and History’s First Global Manhunt
Hello internet friends,
We’re trapped at home and you are also probably most likely trapped at home as well. So let’s all get together, from the comfort of our own bunkers, and talk about something else for an hour. We invite an author in to talk about their work and answer questions from you, the audience.
About the author: Steven Johnson is the bestselling author of twelve books, including Where Good Ideas Come From, Farsighted, and The Ghost Map. He’s the host and cocreator of the Emmy-winning PBS/BBC series How We Got to Now, and the host of the podcast American Innovations. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, and Marin County, California, with his wife and three sons.
About the book: Most confrontations, viewed from the wide angle of history, are minor disputes, sparks that quickly die out. But every now and then, someone strikes a match that lights up the whole planet.
Henry Every was the seventeenth century’s most notorious pirate. The press published wildly popular–and wildly inaccurate–reports of his nefarious adventures. The British government offered enormous bounties for his capture, alive or (preferably) dead. But Steven Johnson argues that Every’s most lasting legacy was his inadvertent triggering of a major shift in the global economy. Enemy of All Mankind focuses on one key event–the attack on an Indian treasure ship by Every and his crew–and its surprising repercussions across time and space. It’s the gripping tale one of the most lucrative crimes in history, the first international manhunt, and the trial of the seventeenth century.
Johnson uses the extraordinary story of Henry Every and his crimes to explore the emergence of the East India Company, the British Empire, and the modern global marketplace: a densely interconnected planet ruled by nations and corporations. How did this unlikely pirate and his notorious crime end up playing a key role in the birth of multinational capitalism? In the same mode as Johnson’s classic non-fiction historical thriller The Ghost Map, Enemy of All Mankind deftly traces the path from a single struck match to a global conflagration.
Ticket price: $5. Cheap. And the guest gets a cut. We used to do events in person that required all of us to get in a car or plane. Now the planet is better off and you can participate from wherever you are. We guarantee you’ll get more than $5 value out of it, and charging admission makes it more likely that the people who sign up plan to show up. We know these are uncertain times to say the least, so no one is turned away! Use code: BOOKFRIENDSTEVEN for a free ticket if you need to.
How does it work? We use the conferencing system Zoom. After you sign up you’ll get an email with the Zoom access code. You don’t have to join with video, but it’s nice to see faces.
What if it totally sucks? You’ll get your $5 back and we’ll all have learned somethingBuy tickets/get more info now