This is a history book that reads like an adventure novel. The United States was a brand new country and just coming out of the Revolutionary War. The greedy and lawless countries of Algiers, Tunis, Tripoli, and Morocco were wreaking havoc on American merchant ships in the Mediterranean. Pirates from those countries were stealing ships and merchandise, enslaving sailors, and demanding hundreds of thousands of dollars in tribute from America. France and England were already paying off the Barbary pirates for safe passage, but America had no money to do this. When all diplomacy failed, the United States did the only thing left to do; they went to war with the pirates. The bravery and cunning exhibited by the men in the newly formed Navy and Marines will amaze you. Great book!