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Publisher's Summary

"The challenges we face today are not so different from Jefferson's, and we've much to learn from his boldness and from the courage of the marines and sailors who died to protect their country." (Brian Kilmeade)
This is the little-known story of how a newly independent nation was challenged by four Muslim powers and what happened when America's third president decided to stand up to intimidation.
When Thomas Jefferson became president in 1801, America faced a crisis. The new nation was deeply in debt and needed its economy to grow quickly, but its merchant ships were under attack. Pirates from North Africa's Barbary Coast routinely captured American sailors and held them as slaves, demanding ransom and tribute payments far beyond what the new country could afford.
Over the previous 15 years, as a diplomat and then as secretary of state, Jefferson had tried to work with the Barbary states (Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers, and Morocco). Unfortunately, he found it impossible to negotiate with people who believed their religion justified the plunder and enslavement of non-Muslims. These rogue states would show no mercy - at least not while easy money could be made by extorting America, France, England, and other powers. So President Jefferson decided to move beyond diplomacy. He sent the US Navy's new warships and a detachment of marines to blockade Tripoli - launching the Barbary Wars and beginning America's journey toward future superpower status.
As they did in their previous best seller, George Washington's Secret Six, Kilmeade and Yaeger have transformed a nearly forgotten slice of history into a dramatic story that will keep you listening to find out what happens next.
©2015 Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger (P)2015 Penguin Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By School Nurse Cindy on 12-08-15

Interesting history - terrible narrator

My husband & I enjoy listening to non-fiction when we travel. We especially enjoy historical accounts. The story here is an interesting one, but I would NEVER listen to this narrator again. His voice grates. He speaks way too fast and everything is made to sound exciting and over the top. Not our cup of tea.

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27 of 28 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Mick on 12-11-15

Kilmeade's Narration Ruins It!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates?

The parallels of the treachery between the Tripoli pirates and modern day radical Islam struck me as I listened to this book. They observe no rules of war, as James Decatur discovered with payment of his life.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

While the story is interesting and fairly well written, Brian Kilmeade's narration really detracts from this audio book. His inflection makes this retelling of one of America's first incursions into foreign diplomacy sound more like a book on how to make money in real estate with no money down! Even more distracting are the obviousline breaks that highlight his inexperience as a narrator. The pauses are frequent and at times confusing because, as a listener, your ear is duped into thinking the sentence has endedonly to have the last few words read.

Did Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates inspire you to do anything?

Listening to this book as inspired me to READ this book. The topic is so interesting that I feel like I need to explore the story without Kilmeade's interference.

Any additional comments?

If I could give the narration a negative star rating, I would.

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16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Daniel White on 02-09-17

Interesting story badly narrated

This was an excellent book but poorly narrated by its author. An actor should have been employed who knows pitch, pace, and power with some modulation too!

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