Pirate State (Hardcover)

Inside Somalia's Terrorism at Sea

By Peter Eichstaedt

Lawrence Hill Books, 9781569763117, 224pp.

Publication Date: October 1, 2010

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (10/1/2016)

List Price: 24.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


In 2009, the United States was hit broadside by Somali pirates who attempted to capture the U.S. flag ship Maersk Alabama. Suddenly, the pirates were no longer a distant menace. They had thrust themselves onto the American stage.

            Are the Somali pirates a legion of desperate fisherman attacking cargo ships and ocean cruisers to reclaim their waters? Or is piracy connected to crime networks and the madness that grips Somalia? What threats do pirates pose to international security?

            To answer these questions, Peter Eichstaedt crisscrosses East Africa, meeting with pirates both in and out of prisons, talking with them about their lives, tactics, and motives. Ultimately, he comes face-to-face with a former fighter with Somalia’s brutal Islamic al-Shabaab militia. He discovers that piracy is a symptom of a much deeper problem: Somalia itself.

            Pirate State explores the links between the pirates, global financiers, and extremists who control southern Somalia and whose influence extends across the Gulf of Aden into Yemen and connects to extremists in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Somali pirates are desperate and dangerous men who will do just about anything for money, and Pirate State argues that turning a blind eye to piracy and the problems of Somalia is inviting a disaster of horrific proportions.

About the Author

Peter Eichstaedt is a veteran journalist and author whose work on issues pertaining to human rights have taken him all over the globe. Formerly a senior editor for Uganda Radio Network and a reporter for the Institute of War and Peace in Reporting in The Hague, he has reported extensively on Africa, uncovering stories behind the headlines. 

Praise For Pirate State: Inside Somalia's Terrorism at Sea

"Clear, expert reporting on a region of which many Americans may be unaware."  —Kirkus Reviews