Pirate Enlightenment, or the Real Libertalia (2023, Farrar, Straus & Giroux) 3 stars

The world of course has long been full of petty bandit kings making grandiose claims, but the peculiar situation of northeast Madagascar in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries made this an unusually easy game to play. The existence of vast amounts of pirate booty gave such men the ability to perform all the external trappings of a royal court—the gold and jewels, the harems, the synchronized dance routines—even in the complete absence of the means to mobilize any significant amount of human labor outside their own home settlements.

Pirate Enlightenment, or the Real Libertalia by  (Page 39)