Jefferson's War: America's First War on Terror 1801-1805

Jefferson's War: America's First War on Terror 1801-1805

by Joseph Wheelan

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Author Joseph Wheelan has marvelously captured the story of America's war against the Barbary pirates, our first war against terror and the nations that support it. The Barbary pirates, a Muslim enemy from Tripoli, attacked European and American merchant shipping with impunity. Jefferson ordered the U.S. Navy to Tripoli in 1801 to repel "force with force." The Barbary War was also a proving ground for such young officers as William Bainbridge, Stephen Decatur, Isaac Hull, and David Porter -key players in the impending War of 1812 against Great Britain.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786714049
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 09/21/2004
Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
Pages: 464
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.12(h) x 1.12(d)

About the Author

Joseph Wheelan, a graduate of the University of Wyoming and University of Colorado-Denver, was for 26 years an editor and reporter for the Associated Press and the Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune . He and his wife Pat live in Cary, North Carolina. His next book will be Jefferson's Trial, on the treason trial of Aaron Burr.

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Jefferson's War: America's First War on Terror, 1801-1805 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have thoroughly enjoyed this book. Easy to read. An interesting account that does not get bogged down in unnecessary detail. The USA was only a few decades old in 1801 and the patriots of that era wanted to show the world that their young, new country would not be bullied. I gladly recommend this book to those who enjoy naval history, sea sagas, etc.
MolonLabe More than 1 year ago
Another must have/read book. It proves that this country has had a long history of fighting Islam since the beginning of time and currently. It proves that Islam is evil and this evil cult will never stop it's terror on the non Muslim world. Read and get the facts about this cult that only has hatred and bias against non Muslims and about their evil minds. Terror is the name for this cult.
ex_ottoyuhr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
So apparently the sole criterion for "war on terror" is "the other guys wear turbans." Well, it's the first new book in print on the Barbary War since approximately 1842, so it has _that_ advantage -- but really, the lack of competition is one of a very few things this book has going for it. Extra half a star for being about the Barbary War.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a piece of history I did not know about! The story was exciting and thought provoking--especially the as the author draws a parallel between the current 'War on Terror' and the war against the outrages of the Barbary pirates exaclty 200 years ago--also referred to as 'The Terror.' I picked up this book because of the cover art--showing a huge picture of Jefferson. A good marketing move, I guess, but a picture more representative of the story would have been a picture of ships in battle--like a scene from the movie Master and Commander. There are other interesting tie-ins to current events and popular culture. One of the American ships engaged in noble battle against the enemy was the 'Enterprise' and, yes, its the ship on the wall of Captain Archer's quarter's on 'Star Trek: Enterprise.' And the story of the War on Terror reads like a high-stakes, morality play, just like a Star Trek story line. Not that every player in this story is a hero. There are heros, cowards, and flawed heros. The most engaging character was William Eaton, the American Lawrence of Arabia, and the first covert operative, who found a disposed Triopolian leader in exile, helped him gather an army of Arabs, and marched across the desert towards Tripoli to rescue 200+ American prisoners captured in a previous naval operation. The information is all new to me, the setting is exotic, and the story is compelling and describes some precident-setting events in American naval history and foriegn policy. Some of the foreign policy questions dealt with then are timeless and still being debated today. Warning: The book is hard to read without constant reference to the maps, cast of charaters, and glossary at the beginning of the book. Probably, due to the nature of the historical sorce material, the narrative is very uneven--some events are described in broad generalites, then we hear a blow-by-blow account of hand to hand combat in a particular instance. Every time a new charater is introduced, we take a break to hear his whole backstory and a summary of his later expoits. But this is because the author wants to fit in all the interesting details and there are plenty.