The Pirate Coast: Thomas Jefferson, the First Marines, and the Secret Mission of 1805

By Richard Zacks
Read by Raymond Todd

13.30 Hours 06/01/2005 unabridged
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A real-life thriller—the true story of the unheralded American who brought the Barbary Pirates to their knees After Tripoli declared war on the United States in 1801, Barbary pirates captured three hundred US sailors and marines. President Jefferson sent out navy squadrons, but he also authorized a secret mission to overthrow the government of Tripoli. He chose an unlikely diplomat, William Eaton, to lead the mission. But before Eaton departed, Jefferson grew wary of the affair and withdrew his support. Astoundingly, Eaton persevered, gathering a ragtag army and leading them on a brutal march across five hundred miles of desert. After surviving sandstorms, treachery, and near death, Eaton achieved a remarkable victory on “the shores of Tripoli,” gaining freedom for the American hostages and new respect for the young United States. But as Eaton dared to reveal that the president had deserted him, Jefferson set out to crush him. Richard Zacks brings this important story of America’s first overseas covert operation to life.

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Summary

Summary

A real-life thriller—the true story of the unheralded American who brought the Barbary Pirates to their knees

After Tripoli declared war on the United States in 1801, Barbary pirates captured three hundred US sailors and marines. President Jefferson sent out navy squadrons, but he also authorized a secret mission to overthrow the government of Tripoli. He chose an unlikely diplomat, William Eaton, to lead the mission. But before Eaton departed, Jefferson grew wary of the affair and withdrew his support.

Astoundingly, Eaton persevered, gathering a ragtag army and leading them on a brutal march across five hundred miles of desert. After surviving sandstorms, treachery, and near death, Eaton achieved a remarkable victory on “the shores of Tripoli,” gaining freedom for the American hostages and new respect for the young United States. But as Eaton dared to reveal that the president had deserted him, Jefferson set out to crush him. Richard Zacks brings this important story of America’s first overseas covert operation to life.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Richard Zacks has produced a brilliant account of our first covert action overseas and of the great struggle between Thomas Jefferson and the colorful adventurer William Eaton who pulled it off.” Walter Isaacson, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“The Pirate Coast is a thrilling and fascinating book, a historical page-turner with guts, glamour, and gore.” Anthony Swofford, bestselling author of Jarhead
“A tale of high ideals, derring-do, extraordinary courage, and victory against imposing odds.” New York Times
“Lively popular history.” Washington Post
“An amazing tale.” Chicago Tribune
“Zacks recounts the misadventures of Eaton (and the fledgling Marine Corps) with an enthusiastic flair…Entertaining.” New Yorker
“An excellent book.” Associated Press
“Zacks has researched thoroughly, writes entertainingly, and shows a knack for sea stories and characterization. This is the book that Captain Eaton has long deserved.” Publishers Weekly
“[Has] the verve and suspense of an espionage thriller…Provides real-life thrills, including forced desert marches, byzantine plot twists and turns, and heroic triumph against long odds.” Booklist
“Zacks excels is in his research, quipping asides, and loving grasp of the subject.” Kirkus Reviews

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Richard Zacks

Richard Zacks specializes in offbeat history. He is the author of the bestselling History Laid Bare and The Pirate Hunter, chosen by Time as one of the five best nonfiction books of 2002.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 13.30
Audience: Adult
Language: English