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

Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: A pirate's review

Author: Don Yaeger
Narrator: Brian Kilmeade
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Length: 4 h 52 m
Genre: History & Politics
Published: 2015
Reviewer: Anonymous

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Thomas Jefferson's self architected and so adorably named home, Monticello, was one of the most expensive at the time and cost $70,000 (not including the slaves Jefferson owned to build it). At that same time, for example, just one group of pirates in the middle east was demanding $100,000 per year as tribute to not attack US merchant ships. In the beginning, essential trade by sea was done at the peril of bad weather, old ships, mutinous seamen and, of course, fucking pirates.

For most of "modern" history pirates were and still are the wealthiest people in the world. This amazing book walks us though how at the birth of a nation pirates succeeded in bringing our third president to his knees and how the US finally gained the upper hand.

This. Was. An. Amazing. Book. I think it must be a rare combination to get an incredible story in history along with such an incredibly story teller. Brian Kilmeade weaves an incredible drama that starts with setting the scene of the day by giving a sense of the real fear that pirates inspired. They were the worst of the worst and bled nations dry financially and morally. Jefferson's fear went so far as to refuse to allow his daughter to travel on any US ships, only French and British, as they were know to pay the highest "tariffs" to the pirates.

With the fear of god properly instilled, Brian tells story after incredible story of heroicism by US Navy men. Literally fighting pirates hand to hand in the harbor of Tripoli, or the US filling a ship full of explosives and sending toward an enemy boat.

Or about how a US ship was (falsely) flying a British flag, then pulled along side a pirate ship all nice like, "Jolly day, Pip, pip, right. Seen any Americans out? Those dandies." And the pirates said, "It is unlucky that today we have not seen any Americans as I would have liked to run them all through." Then, fast, the US ship dropped the British flag, raising the US flag (because the US Navy is honorable as shit and said they would not attack anyone with a US ship not flying the US flag) then disabled the pirate ship. The pirates (not being honorable) surrendered and when US marines boarded the ship the pirates started shooting and attacking them, only to be overtaken AGAIN and eventually taken all prisoner.

Anyway, long and short of it, the book was amazing, anyone with ANY interest in amazing stories, history, people, ideas, stuff or even things would love this book!