Book Review: The Prize Game: Lawful Looting on the High Seas in the Days of Fighting Sail

Archives

by Donald A. Petrie

Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2003. xiii, 217. Illus., maps, append., notes, biblio., index. $25.95. ISBN:155750-669-8

A comprehensive, and readable study of one of the most misunderstood aspects of early modern naval warfare, the awarding of “prize,” that is the distribution of formal monetary rewards for the capture of enemy shipping and goods in wartime, in contrast to looting, a crass practice in which armies sometimes indulged. The first book published in the U.S. on the subject since the Civil War, The Prize Game explores the many arcane ramifications of the prize issue, such as the differences between prize allocation when the capturing ship was a privateer or a commissioned vessel, how prize differs from salvage, or piracy, the apportionment of shares, prize courts, “exchange”, “ransom”, and “parole,” and much more, using a fairly large number of case studies. The book is well documented, and the many notes often include useful additional material. A worthwhile book for anyone interested in the age of sail.
Reviewer: A. A. Nofi   


Buy it at Amazon.com




X

ad
0
30

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 30 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close