Colin is the author of six works of non-fiction which have appeared in fourteen foreign editions and eleven languages.

His books examined the decline of ocean systems around the world (Ocean’s End), the true story of great Caribbean pirates (The Republic of Pirates), the backstory to Maine, its unusual culture, and its iconic fishery (The Lobster Coast), and the great existential realities that have confronted the United States federation, past and present (the American Nations trilogy.)

American Nations (a Wall Street Journal bestseller and New Republic Book of the Year) and American Character (a Chautauqua Book Prize finalist) both won the Maine Literary Award for Non-Fiction. Fareed Zakaria dubbed American Nations one of the four books to read to understand the late 2020 political crisis in the United States, alongside works by Samuel Huntington and Alexis de Tocqueville, while Union, was named a Book of the Year by the Christian Science Monitor. Republic of Pirates, a New York Times Bestseller, was the inspiration for NBC’s primetime series “Crossbones” with John Malkovich and Claire Foy and informed Netflix’s “Lost Pirate Kingdom” and the Ubisoft videogame AC4: Black Flag, for which Colin was a historical consultant. He has also contributed to several edited volumes including Feeling the Heat: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Climate Change (Routledge, 2004) and Pirates, la terreur des Caraibes (Historia, 2013).