Current Events & History

The Forgotten War That Changed American History

Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates
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. These rogue states would show no mercy, so President Jefferson decided to move beyond diplomacy.

As they did in their previous bestseller, George Washington’s Secret Six, Kilmeade and Yaeger have transformed a nearly forgotten slice of history into a dramatic story that will keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next.

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Melanie Tortoroli is an editor with Viking specializing in nonfiction. She loves plantain chips, the color grey, and giving her opinions about what you should be reading.

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