Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger
This book covers an important piece of American history, the first foreign war fought by the United States. The Barbary nations associated with the Ottoman Empire practiced piracy and enslaved captured crews of any Nation that could not defend its merchant fleet or could not afford the “tributes” the leaders of the Barbary Coast nations demanded as the price to not have ships, cargos, and crews captured and sold. It was President Jefferson (the third President) who decided that continuing to pay foreign nations who held US citizens for ransom (while forcing them to perform hard labor as slaves), and continuing to raid US flagged merchant vessels, was bad policy. President Jefferson persuaded Congress to fund new Naval construction and personnel to take the fight to the Barbary pirate nations. This well researched book details the diplomatic front, as well as the battles fought by the US Navy and Marines.