The Shores of Tripoli: Lieutenant Putnam and the Barbary Pirates

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: James L. Haley

Narrated By: Paul Boehmer

Publisher: Penguin Audio

Date: November 2016

Duration: 15 hours 44 minutes


The first novel in a brilliant new series by award-winning historian James L. Haley, featuring young midshipman Bliven Putnam as he begins his naval service aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise.

It is 1801 and President Thomas Jefferson has assembled a deep-water navy to fight the growing threat of piracy, as American civilians are regularly kidnapped by Islamist brigands and held for ransom, enslaved, or killed, all at their captors' whim. The Berber States of North Africa, especially Tripoli, claimed their faith gave them the right to pillage anyone who did not submit to their religion.

Young Bliven Putnam, great-nephew of Revolutionary War hero Israel Putnam, is bound for the Mediterranean and a desperate battle with the pirate ship Tripoli. He later returns under legendary Commodore Edward Preble on the Constitution, and marches across the Libyan desert with General Eaton to assault Derna-discovering the lessons he learns about war, and life, are not what he expected.

Rich with historical detail and cracking with high-wire action, The Shores of Tripoli brings this amazing period in American history to life with brilliant clarity.

From the Hardcover edition.


  • Holley W

    The historic period might be interesting, but the characters do not come to life, and the narrator overacts so much that I just couldn't listen. If they've chosen him to narrate all 15 of the proposed novels, count me out. (I have since been inspired to return to the Patrick O'Brien novels. The dialogue, the characters, the situations--completely believable. And the narrator does justice to the material.)