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To the Shores of Tripoli: The Birth of the U.S. Navy and Marines

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  77 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Often-overlooked yet significant and prophetic event in U.S. history, the Barbary War was America's first battle against an Arab despot and President Thomas Jefferson's first major challenge to U.S. foreign policy. As described by A.B.C. Whipple, it is a great yarn as well as first-rate history. The author skillfully combines vivid accounts of derring-do with shrewd apprai ...more
Paperback, 360 pages
Published August 22nd 2001 by US Naval Institute Press
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An excellent book on the fledgling US Navy and the first actions after the Revolution. Ironically it was against Muslim powers terrorizing our vessels and imprisoning the crews. Some may say that nothing has changed since the 1790s except the might of the US Navy. Today's fleet commanders need the same qualities of Preble and Decatur...wisdom, courage, tenacity, and improvisation. The treaties negotiated were never sufficient unless they were backed by warships with broadsides ready and decks cl ...more
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-history
Great book about a little-known area of American history. The Barbary Wars were one of America's first foreign conflicts (excepting the naval Quasi-War with France) and have decided echoes today, as they marked the first time the United States found itself dealing with what would be today referred to as "rogue states" and hostage situations. The politicking, diplomacy (both straightforward and shady) and saber-rattling all sound quite familiar, though vastly complicated by the creeping pace of c ...more
Justin Griffin
Apr 04, 2009 rated it liked it
The first Barbary War is really interesting...and to think I wasn't aware of its existance before reading this book. The chapter chronicling the burning of the US Philadelphia which has run aground in a Tripolitan harbor is especially vivid. Viva Decatur!
Kevin Pearce
Jul 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Whipple's book comes from the Naval Institute Press and is really an excellent analysis of the Barbary Wars when read in conjunction with the bio of Edward Preble and the Story of the Essex. The amalgam of writing for this timeframe provides unique insight into the life of our fore fathers.
Marty Reeder
Pretty interesting account of U.S. affairs in the Mediterranean during the first years after Washington's presidency. While it drags in some areas, I think, overall, the foreign policy approach then is extremely relevant to today's political climate.
Fredrick Danysh
Jul 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: us-marines, history
Whipple addresses how the US Navy and Marine Corps were re-established during the Barbary Pirate Wars and the sea power grew for the infant nation doing a job that the major powers ignored.
May 02, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-history
A good read but, having been written in 1991, its views on Muslims and their religion are a bit dated.
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Addison Beecher Colvin Whipple was an American journalist, editor, historian and author.
More about A.B.C. Whipple