Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates

Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates

The Forgotten War That Changed American History

Book - 2015
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This is the little-known story of how a newly independent nation was challenged by four Muslim powers and what happened when America's third president decided to stand up to intimidation. When Thomas Jefferson became president in 1801, America faced a crisis. The new nation was deeply in debt and needed its economy to grow quickly, but its merchant ships were under attack. Pirates from North Africa's Barbary coast routinely captured American sailors and held them as slaves, demanding ransom and tribute payments far beyond what the new country could afford. Over the previous fifteen years, as a diplomat and then as secretary of state, Jefferson had tried to work with the Barbary states (Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers, and Morocco). Unfortunately, he found it impossible to negotiate with people who believed their religion justified the plunder and enslavement of non-Muslims. These rogue states would show no mercy--at least not while easy money could be made by extorting America, France, England, and other powers. So President Jefferson decided to move beyond diplomacy. He sent the U.S. Navy's new warships and a detachment of marines to blockade Tripoli--launching the Barbary Wars and beginning America's journey toward future superpower status.
Publisher: New York, New York : Sentinel, [2015]
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9781591848066
Characteristics: xvi, 238 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), maps ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Yaeger, Don - Author


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May 29, 2018

I am a great lover, and reader, of history, yet other than being vaguely aware that young America had experienced issues with the Barbary Pirates, I had no real knowledge of the depicted events. For me, this was a useful and entertaining popular history book exploring that issue. This is not, nor is it intended to be, a scholarly history, yet it still strives to be accurate in its events and relies on first person documents whenever possible. It is an easy one-day read, and I finished reading knowing that I had learned something new to me.

Sep 22, 2017

A fascinating recount of the war with the Barbary Pirates. I enjoyed the author's reading and found it very interesting as well as informative.

I had read the one page version of the war and heard of the heroics of Eaton and Decatur. I was surprised to to learn of the missteps and setbacks. The division at home, the debt and lack of funding, the Barbary belief that the Koran commands plunder and enslavement of non-believers, incompetent leaders and statesmen, dedication & sacrifice and heroics by many.

Sounds like today.

Apr 10, 2017

Worst supposed non fiction book I have ever read. So poorly researched, even the bibliography does not match references or make any sense. The worst part is it appears to have an agenda and paints a very comical good/bad to referenced figures. It has all the makings for a script of a Hollywood Steven Segal movie.

Mar 22, 2017

Decent job Kilmeade!

PimaLib_SamR Jan 30, 2017

Sometimes it's best if the author doesn't read his own work. This was a case in point. The reading was preachy, inflammatory and the pace too quick. The content would've been more interesting if following it hadn't been so difficult. I recommend trying the written word instead.

Jul 13, 2016

Well written historical recalling
accounts of well known American early leaders and the long battle of enslavement by the Barbary Nations and the barbaric treatment of all captured non Muslims.
Another great book that compliments this is Dean King's
Skeletons on the Zarhara.

May 14, 2016

I really enjoy Brian Kilmeade's books. They're well written and tremendously interesting, featuring little known parts of American history. I enjoyed Washington's Secret Six, and this "forgotten war" was quite an eye opener. So many individuals, mostly Navy and Marine, but also little known diplomats. On top of the fact that so much else was going on during this time period, from the Constitutional Convention, presidencies of Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison.

A good read. Recommended.

Apr 18, 2016

Aptly titled. Worth the read,. Much more fun that grade 10 history books they gave us., and more than a little bit relevant to todays world.

Apr 15, 2016

Reads well with decent historical references. Main criticism is that I would have liked less patriotism (and christianity for that part) flowing through the author's pen and more neutrality. There was no background on much of the North African nations at all and the author seems to have something personal against Muslims and the Barbary nations at the time.

Mar 14, 2016

If you think America and the West's problems with Islam began as blowback from Bush and recent history you should read this history. Muslims used to take slaves (sex and otherwise) throughout their history. In 1800 the Mediterranean wasn't safe. The US decided to fight back to their credit.

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