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Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Don Yaeger, Brian Kilmeade

Narrated By: Brian Kilmeade

Publisher: Penguin Audio

Date: November 2015

Duration: 4 hours 52 minutes


“Another blockbuster! Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates reads like an edge-of-your-seat, page-turning thriller. You will love this book and also wonder why so few people know this story. No one captures the danger, intrigue, and drama of the American Revolution and its aftermath like Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger.” —Brad Thor

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 the Western 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.
As they did in their previous bestseller, George Washington’s Secret Six, Kilmeade and Yaeger have transformed a nearly forgotten slice of history into a dramatic story that will keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next. Among the many sus­penseful episodes:
·Lieutenant Andrew Sterett’s ferocious cannon battle on the high seas against the treacherous pirate ship Tripoli.
·Lieutenant Stephen Decatur’s daring night raid of an enemy harbor, with the aim of destroying an American ship that had fallen into the pirates’ hands.

·General William Eaton’s unprecedented five-hundred-mile land march from Egypt to the port of Derne, where the Marines launched a surprise attack and an American flag was raised in victory on foreign soil for the first time.
Few today remember these men and other heroes who inspired the Marine Corps hymn: “From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli, we fight our country’s battles in the air, on land and sea.” Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates recaptures this forgot­ten war that changed American history with a real-life drama of intrigue, bravery, and battle on the high seas.


  • Anonymous

    Great story. Good information. Has lessons for today. The narrator is difinetly excited about what is being the point of distraction. His voice showed as much excitable about one of the battles as it did with reading the information on the editors at the end.

  • Brett Hickman

    I enjoyed it. I learned a bit of history that I was unaware of. Kept me entertained. Worth a listen if you don't know much about this chapter of history.

  • Arlene Kovash

    Interesting book. I never gave a thought as to how we got rid of the pirates.

  • Matt Mooney

    Interesting story that I had never heard before this book brought it to light. Kilmeade does a decent job at narration. Definitely worth the time and money.

  • Bryan Crosby

    I enjoyed the story. It was sufficient for a 4 hour flight and brought some revolutionary period characters in to light that I had never heard of.

  • Gilbert Sanchez

    Great story. I've read reviews that some information is incorrect. I'm not sure if that's correct but these stories about the Heros of the first Navy are spot on. Exciting and worth the fascinating history lesson.

  • Michael Dunham

    I know of the history and thought overall the book was pretty good. I didn't like the author doing the reading.

  • Alfred Cividino

    Below average with modest character development. The reader seemed to have an aggressive tone especially at the beginning.

  • Charles Ridings

    When dealing with pirates/terrorist this is the history we can not afford to forget. The narrator was just to much.

  • Natasha Walesch

    Very dry. Slow and unappealing even to a history lover.

Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History

by Don Yaeger, Brian Kilmeade

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Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History, Don Yaeger, Brian Kilmeade