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Wars of the Barbary Pirates: To the Shores of Tripoli: The Birth of the US Navy and Marines (Essential Histories) Paperback – 7 Nov 2006

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""The Wars of the Barbary Pirates" is 90 pages of highly informative military history. Readers interesed in early American history or the beginning of the US Navy will find it informative. True to its series' namesake, it covers an essential part of history that isn't well know, yet it is a significant and formative part of America's rise onto the world state. Readers with an interest in this period won't want to miss it." -Mike Dorn, "Wargamer" ..".this is a superlative book filled with artwork of the period for illustration and excellent maps to help us envision the operations against these pirates. It is a book that I found thoroughly engrossing and I'm sure you will as well." -Scott Van Aken, ""

About the Author

Gregory Fremont-Barnes holds degrees in history from the University of California, Berkeley (BA), the University of Chicago (MA) and the University of Oxford (D. Phil.). From 1993 to 2002 he lectured in British and American history in Japan, principally at Kobe University. He is the author of "The French Revolutionary Wars" (2001), T"he Peninsular War" (2002), and "The Fall of the French Empire, 1813-1815" (2002). He is currently co-editing a four-volume "Encyclopedia of the American Revolutionary War." The author lives in Oxford, UK.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
The Wars of the Barbary Pirates..... 27 Mar. 2008
By T. L. Marsters - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A current interest in the War of 1812 led me to this book by Gregory Fremont-Barnes, who holds a doctorate in history from Oxford University. The very long title for a relatively small book tells you exactly what to expect from it. Its 95 pages are so well presented, so succinct yet so full of information, that it is a pleasure to read. Illustrations on every page -- maps, reproductions of historical paintings and line drawings are indeed worth thousands of words. The two-column pages offer a journalistic feel -- that current news is being presented by top reporters.

A three-page chronology summarizes the contents of the book for those who want to find facts instantly. The Introduction is also all-encompassing -- it tells all that the book contains. A "Further Reading" list at the end leads readers and researchers to other sources on this fascinating subject. An index pinpoints all the events, people, places and shipping vessels found in the book.

I was seeking information on the USS Epervier, the ill-fated ship that was lost at sea returning to America from North Africa bearing the Treaty of Ghent which formalized the end of the War of 1812 between the British and the Americans. I also wanted information on Stephen Decatur and other prominent commodores and captains of US ships of that era. This book far exceeded my expectations. I am so very pleased that Google pointed me to it and had it in stock. I love this book, and recommend it without reservation to anyone wanting a palatible source of information on this pivotal period of our history that is so woefully lacking in below-college-level schools.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Fairly Good Book on this Forgotten Little War 16 July 2010
By Mike Dillemuth - Published on
Format: Paperback
In general, this is a well written book with a lot of information. The maps are uncluttered and the author did an excellent job of showing where each ship was stationed during a particular battle. The book contains a multitude of color and black and white drawings. These illustrations provide the reader with an excellent visual image of the various engagements. The book, however, also has some shortcomings.

First, the author expends five pages on the Lewis and Clark expedition. Osprey books are intentionally short and space is a precious commodity. This narrative is found in the chapter on the "World Around War." One page on Lewis and Clark might be appropriate but five pages was a waste of space. This expedition had noting to do with the Barbary Wars.

Second, the author did not spend enough time on William Eaton. His march across the African desert and capture of Derna was a major event. This was the first instance of US covert action taken to overthrow a foreign government. This was also the first time the US flag was planted on foreign soil after combat. Shamefully, the logistical support provided to Eaton was so negligible that it is a miracle he survived, much less succeeded. This entire event is covered in minimal detail. The author also presents a biased view of the peace treaty made by Tobias Lear. Tobias Lear is given credit for a peace treaty but no mention is made of its humiliating hidden clauses. Lear was more interested in making a name for himself than in achieving an honorable peace. All of this history is left out.

Finally, the author wasted too much space in the chapter on "Conclusions and Consequences" by philosophizing over slavery. He discussed the hypocritical attitude of America, which opposed white slavery, but proceeded to enslave thousands of black Africans. Although the author makes an interesting point, this book is not the place for such commentary.

The best part of the book is found in the chapter on the war's ending. This chapter covers the Algerine Wars of 1815. After the War of 1812, The US Navy returned to the Mediterranean under Commodore Stephen Decatur. Decatur achieved a true honorable peace with the Barbary nations. Soon afterward, the British Royal Navy under 1st Viscount Exmouth put a complete end to Mediterranean piracy when he bombarded Algiers in 1816. This chapter ends with a discussion of the French invasion of Algeria in 1830 which led to the subsequent colonization of that country.

Bottom line: this is a pretty good book. On the down side, the author wasted space on unrelated topics and omitted relevant aspects of the War. On the up side, this book does a great job of discussing how the U.S. and Royal navies eventually put an end to Barbary piracy a decade after the war's end. Despite these shortcomings, the reader will still find this an enjoyable and informative book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Excellently informative!!! I never knew that the ... 12 Dec. 2014
By jgdw - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellently informative!!! I never knew that the problem with Muslims was partly/mostly responsible for the formation of our own US Navy! The problems that persist today with Islamists also existed in the early 1800's......l
Concise description of the US against the Barbary pirates 15 Feb. 2015
By Rick Albright - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very fast paced and easily read. I liked the clearly portrayed maps, the brevity of words and the many illustrations. I thoroughly enjoyed it and felt that it was well worth the read.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Barbary Pirates To the Shores of Tripoli 19 Jan. 2009
By Ben Humphries - Published on
Format: Paperback
Thus far a good read and insight into the mentality of the pirates and leadership that still haunts that area of the world.
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