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Publisher's Summary

Two centuries ago, without congressional or public debate, a president who is thought of today as peaceable, Thomas Jefferson, launched America's first war on foreign soil, a war against terror. The enemy was Muslim; the war was waged unconventionally, with commandos, native troops, and encrypted intelligence, and launched from foreign bases. For nearly 200 years, the Barbary pirates had haunted the Mediterranean, enslaving tens of thousands of Europeans and extorting millions of dollars from their countries in a mercenary holy war against Christendom. Sailing in sleek corsairs built for speed and plunder, the Barbary pirates attacked European and American merchant shipping with impunity, triumphing as much by terror as force of arms. The author traces the events leading to Jefferson's belief that peace with the Barbary States and respect from Europe could be achieved only through the "medium of war".
©2003 Joseph Wheelan; (P)2005 Blackstone Audiobooks
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Donald on 06-19-05

A Great Read

Jefferson, long thought of, as a "pacifistic" president declared America's first war on foreign soil in response to "Islamic Jihad".

European nations had given in to buying off "peace" with the Barbary Coast states. Many of their citizens being subjugated to slavery and all of the attendant horrors. The Barbary Coast states (North African
states of Morocco, Tripolitania, Tunisia,Algeria) declared Islamic Jihad on America because Jefferson refused to pay the extortion fee.

This is an interesting bit of American/World History.The correlation with today's current events will not be missed by the listener. The narrator is excellent.

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59 of 59 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Roger on 09-28-05

It's worth the money

History, to many, is dull and dry, but not this reading. It takes a look at an often forgotten part of American History and brings it to life. The parallels to todays world are often uncanny. A great deal of background material is presented to flesh out the characters and their historical importance. After listening to the book I was left with that distinct feeling that our technology has changed in the last 200 years, however, as a nation, the actions and intents of elected officials has not.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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