Thursday, April 11

Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates

Today's book review in miniature is by Acasta member Nick Weremeichik

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

While focusing on Federal America, this book gives great insight to the Mediterranean trade network from 1801-05. The Barbary states of Tunis, Algiers, Morocco and Tripoli were taking tribute money in exchange for safe passage to trade in the Mediterranean. Muslim North Africa has been impressing sailors for a long time (including Britons) but now involved Americans also. This book tells how America’s first international war (and navy) came about, the birth of the US Marines and state of the Mediterranean during the turn of the 19th century. The Battle of the Nile and Napoleon’s African campaign gets some mention, but the focus is on “them Yanks” and the North African pirates. 
The book reads like a novel, and walks you through this obscure history almost day by day. Plenty of sources to substantiate this work, and adds some greater context to the period we portray. I enjoyed it, it was a quick read as the pages start turning. Lots of information I didn’t know before. A for-sure recommendation.

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