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

Extended Audio Sample The Pirate Coast: Thomas Jefferson, the First Marines, and the Secret Mission of 1805 Audiobook, by Richard Zacks Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (725 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Richard Zacks Narrator: Raymond Todd Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455182343
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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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Quotes & Awards

  • “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

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Klundeen24 | 2/16/2014

    " History is far stranger than any fiction. Fascinating story of political and military power plays during the Jefferson administration. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt Sparling | 2/10/2014

    " Good book about a little known chapter in US history. Only complaint is that author is a bit too detailed and tends to spend too much time on thing that ate not particularly relevant or interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Betty Adams | 1/20/2014

    " I didn't know a lot about this period of American history and, althought I have sung the Marine Corps Hymn through the years I wasn't aware of the back story details of "the shores of Tripoli." Good read! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Damon Henrichs | 1/11/2014

    " This book was pretty good. This is an incident hardly anyone knows about, but was the inspiration for the Marine line " . . .to the shores of Tripoli". Funny how this piece of history has been largely forgotten and written out of our texts. Basically, the muslims on the Barbary Coast were pirates extorting money from the US and other western nations for tribute in exchange for being left alone by their pirates. This book is about a US boat that was captured, and how the very very early US marines mounted an expedition to go to Tripoli and put together an insurgecny army to force their release from literal slavery. Very interesting, if a little dry in the actual writing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jane | 1/9/2014

    " Picked this book up at Monticello. Quickly came to appreciate the difficulties of our country BEFORE instant communication. It would be wonderful if we wrote with the color and style of early America. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adam Hodge | 1/7/2014

    " totally insane "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom | 1/5/2014

    " Exciting read of a an early 19th Century instance of retalatory foreign policy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 12/14/2013

    " William Eaton....one of my Heroes "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Margaret | 12/11/2013

    " Another one of the those books that would have made a great article, but wasn't quite enough for a book. Or rather it promised to be about the Pirate Coast and the Marines and was more about Jeffersonian politics and the ruin of Thomas Eaton. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Clay Asbury | 8/26/2013

    " One of the best history books ever written. It's hard to believe the contrivances that come out of Hollywood each year when there are true storied like this ignored. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt | 5/31/2013

    " Generally a good book about the first Marines, though at times it gets a little repetitive. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathleen Draughon | 1/20/2013

    " Great format for a history book! I loved the way it's set like a novel and the story unfolds. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason Reeser | 8/16/2012

    " Great little docu-drama about a little-known American hero who dealt with an international problem they way he should have--with Yankee audacity! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ralph | 5/19/2012

    " In examining the relationship of the early American Republic with the Barbary Pirates (and he rest of the then Muslim world) Zacks also shines a light on modern relationships. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandra Dark | 10/22/2011

    " Fascinating, though the Marines played only a small part in the mission, so the title is a teensy bit misleading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zachrobhan | 1/6/2011

    " Great book. Very interesting. It's one of those exciting chapters in American history that we never get to hear about. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ken | 11/2/2010

    " Does history repeat itself?
    Reading this book and your memory will be drawn to our (U.S.) current struggles and unfortunately blunders in the mid-east.
    KGA "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandra | 7/22/2010

    " Fascinating, though the Marines played only a small part in the mission, so the title is a teensy bit misleading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 6/28/2010

    " The story is surprising, eye-opening, and thrilling, but the writing leaves a bit to be desired. A necessary part of any study of Jefferson's presidency. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark | 3/20/2010

    " Great book and very interesting story in history. "

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About the Author
Author Richard ZacksRichard Zacks is the bestselling author of Island of Vice: Theodore Roosevelt’s Quest to Clean Up Sin-Loving New York; Pirate Coast: Thomas Jefferson, the First Marines, and the Secret Mission of 1805; Pirate Hunter: The True Story of Captain Kidd; History Laid Bare; and An Underground Education. His writing has been featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Harper’s Magazine, and many other publications. He attended the University of Michigan and the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. Born in Savannah, Georgia, he now lives in New York City.
About the Narrator

Raymond Todd is an actor and director in the theater as well as a poet and documentary filmmaker. He plays jazz trombone for the Leatherstocking quartet, an ensemble that gets its name from one of his favorite Blackstone narrations, The Deerslayer. Todd lives in New York.