The Pirate Coast

The Pirate Coast

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

By Richard Zacks

Hyperion, Hardcover, 9781401300036, 400pp.

Publication Date: June 1, 2005

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.

About the Author

Richard Zacks is a graduate of the Columbia Journalism School, a former syndicated columnist for the New York Daily News, and a freelance journalist for Atlantic Monthly, Time, the Village Voice, London Times, Life, and other publications.