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

Version: Unabridged
Author: Richard Zacks
Narrator: Raymond Todd
Genres: History, North America
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Published In: June 2005
# of Units: 11 CDs
Length: 13 hours, 18 minutes
Tell Your Friends:


A real-life thriller -- the true story of the unheralded American who brought the Barbary Pirates to their knees.

In an attempt to stop the legendary Barbary Pirates of North Africa from hijacking American ships, William Eaton set out on a secret mission to overthrow the government of Tripoli. The operation was sanctioned by President Thomas Jefferson, who at the last moment grew wary of "intermeddling" in a foreign government and sent Eaton off without proper national support. Short on supplies, given very little money and only a few men, Eaton and his mission seemed doomed from the start. He triumphed against all odds, recruited a band of European mercenaries in Alexandria, and led them on a march across the Libyan Desert. Once in Tripoli, the ragtag army defeated the local troops and successfully captured Derne, laying the groundwork for the demise of the Barbary Pirates. Now, Richard Zacks brings this important story of America's first overseas covert op to life.

Reviews (3)

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

Written by Rachel E. Holmen on July 2nd, 2007

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Fascinating tale of intrigue, treachery, stupidity, and bravery will come out -- and to learn how the U.S. Marines fought on "the shores of Tripoli".

with a better reader, might have been great.

Written by KD on June 2nd, 2007

  • Book Rating: 2/5

The story was interesting. I listened to the whole book in spite of the reader's poor ability, because I wanted to hear how it ends. But, the reader was awful. He massacred sentences, paused in odd places and managed to convey the wrong emotion -- and sometimes no emotion at all -- far too often. My the paper version, because the story is intriguing....but the reader is painful to listen to.

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

Written by Anonymous from Huntsville, AL on April 6th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 1/5

I didn't listen to more than 5 minutes of this because I couldn't get past the narrator's voice. I am choosy about who reads the books I pick and I just thought this reader's voice sounded too much like it was from a film you would have heard in junior high school. I'm sure it is an interesting book--I plan to read it.

Author Details

Author Details

Zacks, Richard

Richard Zacks spent more than three years researching The Pirate Hunter, including months at the Public Record Office in London (where he found a pirate prisoner's long-lost diary). Zacks is the author of two previous books of unusual research: the bestselling History Laid Bare and perennial book club favorite An Underground Education. He lives in Pelham, New York.