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Friday, August 10, 2012

Audiobook Review: Jefferson’s War by Joseph Wheelan

jeffersons war

Jefferson’s War: America’s First War on Terror 1801-1805 
by Joseph Wheelan
Unabridged, 12 hr. 10 min.
Blackstone Audio Inc.
Patrick Cullen (Narrator)
June 17, 2005
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Genre: Historical Non-fiction

Source: Downloaded audiobook from my local library

“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.”

The title of this book caught my attention – did anyone else know that the United States had a war on terror prior to the current one? I sure didn’t. I also knew a scant amount about the Barbary pirates, and what I did know was certainly much more current than the early 1800’s. While I was initially concerned that the title might just be drawing on current events, this book was quite interesting and informative.

This is a war that I was never taught about in school, and I think I can safely assume that many others haven’t either. The United States and many other ocean-faring countries of Europe faced the real threat that the Barbary pirates would attack their ships, take their cargoes, and potentially kill members of their crew or take slaves/prisoners. The United States was the first country to really flex its military muscle when it had enough of paying bribes to these pirate nations. Many of the great military naval heroes of the War of 1812 earned their stripes during these Barbary wars.

This book also read very much like a novel. It felt like an adventure story – you have exotic locales, daring acts of heroism, and anticipation. It was also something where I didn’t know what the outcomes would be – something I don’t usually get too often. The main focus was not so much on Jefferson, but we do learn about his feelings toward the pirates and his policy actions. I certainly think that this is an event that more people should know about and this book provides great information on the subject while still being an enjoyable read.



The narration of this book was very well done. The narrator was able to incite excitement and anticipation in the listener and led to an enjoyable listening experience.

You can listen to a sample from the book below (links to Audible):

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Reviews of this book by other bloggers: 

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia

Also by Joseph Wheelan:

mr adams last crusade
Mr. Adams’s Last Crusade

bloody spring
Bloody Spring

terrible swift sword
Terrible Swift Sword

libby prison breakout
Libby Prison Breakout

jeffersons vendetta
Jefferson’s Vendetta

their last full measure
Their Last Full Measure

invading mexico
Invading Mexico

midnight in the pacific
Midnight in the Pacific

Find Joseph Wheelan: Website 


Copyright © 2012 by The Maiden’s Court

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