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Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History Hardcover – November 3, 2015

4.4 out of 5 stars 1,626 customer reviews

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  “Thomas Jefferson. Pirates. And national security. This is how you make history exciting. I dare you to put this book down.”
—BRAD MELTZER, bestselling author of The President’s Shadow
 
“Reads like a fast-paced thriller but is actually a thoughtful account of America’s first foray into what has become a complex part of the world.”
—GENERAL STANLEY MCCHRYSTAL (Ret.), author of Team of Teams
 
“A riveting book of history that reads as though it were ripped from today’s headlines, and a must read for anyone seeking an understanding of the roots of U.S. foreign policy.”
—ADMIRAL JAMES STAVRIDIS (Ret.), former Supreme Allied Commander at NATO; dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University
 
“This is a well-told tale, and there are lessons aplenty about both diplomacy and warfare—with useful application to the challenges the United States faces in our own time.”
—PROFESSOR LARRY J. SABATO, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics; author of The Kennedy Half-Century
 
“Well written, nicely paced, and well documented. I thoroughly enjoyed this must read that brings to life a critical period in our nation’s history and shows the importance of a navy in our nation’s security.”
—KIRK S. LIPPOLD, former commander of the USS Cole; author of Front Burner: Al Qaeda’s Attack on the USS Cole
 
“No one captures the danger, intrigue, and drama of the American Revolution and its aftermath like Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger.”
—BRAD THOR, bestselling author of Code of Conduct
 
“A colorful, exciting, and historic account of an overlooked portion of American military history, and a wonderful tribute to the brave sailors and Marines who set a high standard for U.S. maritime operations.”
—GENERAL JACK KEANE (Ret.), chairman of the Institute for the Study of War
 
“A fascinating story of extraordinary courage and resolve, and a brilliant reminder of an early chapter of our country’s remarkable history.”
—DONALD RUMSFELD
 
“As a Navy SEAL you witness great acts of courage every day, but it’s easy to forget that the navy and Marines have been kicking ass right from their inception more than two hundred years ago. Count on Kilmeade and Yaeger to remind us of it with this swashbuckling adventure.”
—MARCUS LUTTRELL, former Navy SEAL; author of Lone Survivor and Service
 
“If you want to understand the deep historic roots of the 9/11 attacks and what it will take to win the war against today’s jihadists, you must read this book.”
—DR. SEBASTIAN GORKA, Horner Chair of Military Theory at USMC University, Quantico

About the Author

BRIAN KILMEADE and DON YAEGER are the coauthors of George Washington’s Secret Six, a New York Times bestseller for more than five months. Kilmeade cohosts Fox News Channel’s morning show Fox & Friends and hosts the daily national radio show Kilmeade & Friends. He lives on Long Island. This is his fourth book. Yaeger has written or cowritten twenty-four books and lives in Florida.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Sentinel; 1st edition (November 3, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591848067
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591848066
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,626 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Couldn't decide between one or two stars... Thought I would error on the side of charity since I just finished Pulitzer prize winning author David McCoullough's John Adams, so I'm spoiled by his research and mature writing. Right out of the gate, had to quibble with the authors. They are completely inaccurate on Jefferson according to McCoullough. Authors rightly remark that New Englanders and Federalists were for a Navy, while Southerners and Republicans were not - this, while arguing that Jefferson was FOR the Navy. Makes no sense. Jefferson was a Southerner, a Republican and very much against a US Navy since he feared it would be used to make war on the French during the French revolution. Certainly, he was against it before he was for it, which would have been an interesting insight to include. John Adams, on the other hand, was a New Englander and a Federalist. In fact, he is the recognized founder of the Navy. He was for the Navy 100% the whole time, though he recognized funding was a problem and agreed with Jefferson that stop gap measures might be in order until Congress authorized one. It was Adam's lifelong quest to maintain a standing Navy, though he was against a standing Army. Oddly, the authors continue to give George Washington credit for the Navy through the early 1800's until Jefferson is president, ignoring that George Washington was dead and that John Adams was president for those four years. In addition, George had actually helped dissolve the Navy thinking it would draw us into international conflict. If you are going to simplify and generalize, at least get it right. Sloppy and inaccurate!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The writing is good, but the scholarship isn't. He implies that John Adams weakened the navy. In fact, Adams sold off some older ships only in order to keep Jefferson from selling off valuable frigates. Jefferson, who had a strong aversion to a strong national defense, stopped Adams's shipbuilding program and sold off many more ships at bargain basement prices. Kilmeade also says that after Polly's death, Abigails's letter to TJ began a rapprochement between him and JA. In fact, TJ's response to Abigail's letter so infuriated her that she wrote a scathing reply. I can't recommend this book as a history.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Our next President should be required to know this part of our history. I am not exaggerating when I say this is one of the most important books written in our lifetime. Not only is it written well, but the timing of this book could not be better. The threats we face today are similar to the threats our forefathers faced. This book reminds us of the price freedom costs. It reminds us of the endurance and strength needed to face enemies determined to take that freedom. This book is neither conservative or liberal. It is historical. I hope this book attracts both parties. The threats we face in this world to not target party lines. They threaten what ALL Americans stand for. Thank you for writing this book!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A real pleasure to be introduced (and re-introduced) to the historic persons and their heroic actions during this very challenging periodin early American history. (Some will reappear a decade or two later to again serve our country valiantly.) All the characters are very well described as to position, influence, reasons why they are there. Easy to read. Fast moving and captivating: I was disappointed when I reached the epilogue.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Review of: "Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History," by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger.

Praise for this book! I have been aware of this conflict for most of my adult life. The problem is that almost no one else was/is. The fledgling United States entered into what has become known as the Barbary Wars, between the years of 1801–1805 and 1815–1816. The Barbary States were a collection of North African states, many of which practiced state-supported piracy in order to exact tribute from weaker Atlantic powers. Morocco was an independent kingdom, with Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli owing a loose allegiance to the Ottoman Empire. In this book Kilmeade and Yaeger illustrate how U.S. merchant ships were being boarded and raided by these pirates for ransom in the Mediterranean Sea in order to fund their own personal interests. As such they were known as the "Scourge of the Mediterranean." Without giving away too much from the book, the U.S. paid very high ransom to these nations for years. In March 1785, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams went to London to negotiate with Tripoli's envoy, ambassador Sidi Haji Abdrahaman. When they enquired "concerning the ground of the pretensions to make war upon nations who had done them no injury", the ambassador replied: "It was written in their Koran, that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave; and that every Mussulman who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise.
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