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Daniel Defoes account of piracy, crime and anarchy on the high seas, combining two chapters of his vast General History Of The Robberies And Murders Of The Most Notorious Pirates (1726) tells the history of Captain Misson, the French teenage rebel whose life as a freebooter eventually leads him to establish an autonomous state, Libertalia, on the island of Madagascar. As a pioneer of liberty and autocracy whose insurrections form a template for subsequent generations of thieves, gunslingers, assassins, incendiaries and subversives, Misson stands among the most provocative of all literary creations. As such, he was also the chief inspiration for William S Burroughs acclaimed novel "Cities Of The Red Night". The pirate counter-culture is savagely revived in Defoes book of Misson, a mythopoeic evocation of terrorism and sudden death across the ocean frontier, which also remains a key blueprint for future charters of anarchism and social revolution.

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