Somalia: The New Barbary? Piracy and Islam in the Horn of Africa
Martin N. Murphy. New York: Columbia University Press, 2011. 176 pp. Intro. Map. Notes. Index. $26.50.
Reviewed by Commander John Patch, U.S. Navy (Retired)
Numerous books on piracy have emerged since a rash of high-profile incidents began to occur off Somalia, including several very large crude-oil carrier seizures and attacks on American-flagged merchant vessels. In Somalia: The New Barbary? Martin N. Murphy, the author of Small Boats, Weak States, Dirty Money: Piracy and Terrorism in the Modern World (Columbia University Press, 2009), adds to the scholarly understanding of the phenomenon. In this volume Murphy focuses on the root causes of Somali piracy, comparing it with the history of Barbary pirates and privateers off North Africa in the Mediterranean from the 16th through the 19th centuries.