Industrial-Sized Deals TextBTS15 Shop Women's Handbags Learn more nav_sap_plcc_6M_fly_beacon $5 Albums Storm Fire TV Stick Grocery Find the Best Purina Pro Plan for Your Pet Shop Popular Services Home Theater Setup Plumbing Services Assembly Services Shop all tmnt tmnt tmnt  Amazon Echo Fire HD 6 Kindle Voyage The Walking Dead\ Shop Now Deal of the Day
Jefferson's War: America's First War on Terror 1801-1805 and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
  • List Price: $18.95
  • Save: $3.64 (19%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by
Gift-wrap available.
Jefferson's War: America'... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: No writing or highlighting. Binding tight. Minor shelf wear to cover, corners and edges.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Jefferson's War: America's First War on Terror 1801-1805 Paperback – September 21, 2004

43 customer reviews

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$8.00 $6.19

Katrina: After the Flood
"Katrina: After the Flood"
Journalist Gary Rivlin traces Hurricane Katrina's immediate damage, the city of New Orleans’s efforts to rebuild itself, and the storm’s lasting affects. Learn more
$15.31 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Jefferson's War: America's First War on Terror 1801-1805 + The Barbary Wars: American Independence in the Atlantic World
Price for both: $28.64

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Joseph Wheelan, a graduate of the University of Wyoming and University of Colorado–Denver, was for 26 years an editor and reporter for the Associated Press and the Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune . He and his wife Pat live in Cary, North Carolina. His next book will be Jefferson’s Trial, on the treason trial of Aaron Burr.


Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; First Trade Paper Edition edition (September 21, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786714042
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786714049
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #487,336 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I always wanted to write books and I finally got the opportunity after many years as a journalist. I have tried to make the most of it. I love to write, and primary research is pure pleasure, particularly reading the original documents and the actual handwritten letters and journals. I would recommend this to anyone who has an inquisitive mind and enjoys hanging around libraries.

When I am not writing and doing research, my wife Pat and I like to hike, bird-watch, and sample North Carolina's unique barbecue restaurants. We both enjoy reading American history from all eras.

Of special interest to me is the early national era, when everything was new and undergoing severe trials. We were fortunate to have leaders during these perilous early decades who put the American people and the nation's needs before political parties and sometimes even personal ambition. And they also happened to be terrific writers, thinkers, and warriors.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Nichomachus on November 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The major reason to read this book is that there simply aren't enough books that try to give a reasonably comprehensive history of the the Tripolitan War and US policy at the time. A lot of books focusing on the war are more concerned with the naval history, and "the birth of the US Navy." That is all well and good, but the politics, policy, and financial aspects of the war deserve a lot of attention in a single volume as well as the remarkable achievements of the young Navy in the Mediterranean. Important lessons can be drawn from our experience and applied today.
However, the subtitle: "America's First War on Terror" is hyperbolic. This is understandable, though, since it will augment the book's sale, and there is nothing wrong with a book out there on this topic that is accessible to us laymen. Also, the heavy use of "The Terror" in the early chapters in referring to the piracy gets a little worn. On the other hand, Roger Albin's vituperative response to the book is totally over the top, since author Wheelan barely discusses September 11 in the preface, and nowhere in the text (see the index). It is left to the reader to draw direct (or indirect) parallels. The Barbary states weren't terrorists as we understand them today. Tactics of terror were used by these mercenary states, as were "liberal" justifications of their piracy through Koranic verse, but we should be careful about blurring those vile and venal potentates with the far more sophisticated and apocalyptic terrorists of al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda's global political vision is far scarier, far more dangerous, and warrants a far more unrelenting and thorough destruction than the Barbary states did.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By M. Reid on January 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book competently highlights "America's first global war on terror." It is the fascinating story of America's early interaction and conflict with the Barbary states in North Africa. It is a complex story that contains the whole range of diplomacy and war; courage and cowardice; brilliance and incompetence. A brief synopsis of the events covered can be found in the publisher's blurb above, and need not be repeated here. This review will serve mainly to highlight strengths and weakness of the work. The author tells the story very well but perhaps with a few too many tangents and largely irrelevant details and stories as well as the rather annoying habit of making somewhat forced comparisons between the situation at the start of the 1800s and today.

First the author has a lovely narrative flow that is perhaps necessarily hindered by a superabundance of names and places. This may well be the nature of the beast as there were four Barbary States, each with its own Deii, Bey, Pasha, Sultan, or Emperor let alone the other regional powers which will include many that the layman may find unfamiliar. Unless you have previously studied the Napoleonic Mediterranean, you may find it useful to keep a small cheat-sheet on your bookmark and a small map handy. However, this is not a serious hindrance to the serious reader.

More annoying is the author's tendency to "period hop." That is to say that he has decided to structure his work only in the most loose chronological format. Mostly he wants to follow people and places. At times this makes for a disjointed narrative. Additionally, and perhaps because of this, he also has a tendency to repeat himself. At times one can be grateful for the reminder, while at others it is annoying and slightly insulting.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By R. W. Levesque on October 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wheelan is a journalist who has written a "popular" history of the US war against the Barbary Pirates in the early 19th century. It is a straightforward, non-Academic narrative history that provides context and describes the war against, primarily, Tripoli. He points out that after the Europeans had spent hundreds of years bribing and placating these north African Muslims, the US refused to play the game. At first, due to a lack of resources and the fact that the US was a confederation with a powerless central government, it had to pay tribute. However, after the central government was given the right to levy taxes, one of the first things it did was raise a Navy, and the primary threat was the Barbary Coast. One of Jefferson's first actions as president was to send the Navy in harms way. Although the first two Navy commanders were too timid for the mission, Preeble put teeth to the threat. Later, an overland expedition led by former Army officer William Eaton drove Tripoli to sue for peace. Of note are the similarities between the way today's Islamic terrorists behave when compared to the Islamic pirates of the time.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By David Stapleton VINE VOICE on June 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Joseph Wheelan has put together a comfortably readable narrative history of the United States involvement with the Barbary Corsairs. He has provided a modest amount of background to set the stage for the actual events centered around the period from 1801-1812. His history ranges from the American capital to the shores of Tripoli, dealing with politicians, diplomats and military officers.
Much of the story focuses on the events that transpired in the Mediterranean Sea, remote from the direction of the politicians in the United States. Memorable names like Stephen Decatur, William Bainbridge, Isaac Hull and David Porter feature prominently. While they may not have been Nelson's 'band of brothers', they were the core of the United States navy that, along with it's new super frigates (Constitution, President and United States), stood toe to toe with the British fleet during the War of 1812.
Wheelan's history does not fail to cover William Eaton's cross desert march that brought the conflict to the Barbary shores in earnest. With due credit given to Presley O'Bannon, lieutenant in the fledgling United States Marines.
The one complaint I have of the book is that the author insists on trying to make some tenuous connection between the war with the Barbary Corsairs and the United States current 'War on Terror'. The only real similarity between the corsairs and the current terrorists is that they both involve the regions of North Africa and Middle East. Fortunately, he gives up the effort within the first 100 pages and gets on with the narrative.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Jefferson's War: America's First War on Terror 1801-1805
This item: Jefferson's War: America's First War on Terror 1801-1805
Price: $15.31
Ships from and sold by

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: jefferson's war