Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: A Book Review

Presidential History Blog

TJ and Tripoli Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates, the new best seller by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger.

Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates has been sitting on the Best Seller list for several weeks now, and hooray! It does exactly what it wants to accomplish: interest the reader in an informative-but-not-didactic manner, and prove the point that “the more things change, the more they remain the same.” Or, if you will, the old axiom that history repeats itself.

According to the authors, Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger, (and this is perhaps the most important crux of the book) piracy along the Barbary Coast (i.e. Morocco, Tunis, Algiers and Tripoli, or modern-day Libya) has been going on for centuries. In fact, when John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were European diplomats, representing the Articles-of-Confederated United States, in the mid-1780s, such piracy had already been going on for centuries. Pirates cruised the Mediterranean preying…

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