The Shores of Tripoli

The Shores of Tripoli It is and President Thomas Jefferson has assembled a deep water navy to fight the growing threat of piracy as American civilians are regularly kidnapped by Islamist brigands and held for ransom

  • Title: The Shores of Tripoli
  • Author: James L. Haley
  • ISBN: 9780399171109
  • Page: 300
  • Format: Hardcover
  • It is 1801 and President Thomas Jefferson has assembled a deep water navy to fight the growing threat of piracy, as American civilians are regularly kidnapped by Islamist brigands and held for ransom, enslaved, or killed, all at their captors whim The Berber States of North Africa, especially Tripoli, claimed their faith gave them the right to pillage anyone who did notIt is 1801 and President Thomas Jefferson has assembled a deep water navy to fight the growing threat of piracy, as American civilians are regularly kidnapped by Islamist brigands and held for ransom, enslaved, or killed, all at their captors whim The Berber States of North Africa, especially Tripoli, claimed their faith gave them the right to pillage anyone who did not submit to their religion.Young Bliven Putnam, great nephew of Revolutionary War hero Israel Putnam, is bound for the Mediterranean and a desperate battle with the pirate ship Tripoli He later returns under legendary Commodore Edward Preble on the Constitution, and marches across the Libyan desert with General Eaton to assault Derna discovering the lessons he learns about war, and life, are not what he expected.Rich with historical detail and cracking with high wire action, The Shores of Tripoli brings this amazing period in American history to life with brilliant clarity.

    One thought on “The Shores of Tripoli”

    1. Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.The year is 1801 and President Thomas Jefferson has assembled a navy to fight the unrelenting piracy in the Mediterranean where American civilians are being captured by corsairs and enslaved, killed, or held at ransom. At fourteen years of age, Bliven Putnam sets sail for the shores of Tripoli on the U.S.S. Enterprise where his mettle as a man will be tested. "Like all navies, the Berbers take their rank and [...]

    2. Enjoyed this historical fiction book about the US efforts against the Barbary Pirates. Not sure why there are some poor reviews for this book, I understand it is not a non-fiction account of the situation but the authors research was outstanding and the book really was a fine blend of action and historical accuracy. It also brought to light how difficult it was to operate during those years when there was little immediate means of communication and also how difficult foreign policy was made and [...]

    3. I got this as an ARC, and finally read it. It is well written with accurate historical details. Part of the setting is Northwestern Connecticut (Litchfield), territory with which I am familiar. Great plot line and an auspicious start for a series.

    4. Having read every single one of C. S. Forester's, Patrick O'Brian's, Alexander Kent's and Dewey Lambdin's sailing novels, I was looking forward to this new entry in the genre. However, either the young American Navy operated much differently than the British Navy, or Mr. Haley doesn't know how sailing vessels were commanded.First, to have junior officers actually manning the wheel, and at the same time determining the ship's course while the ship's commander is apparently doing nothing, beggars [...]

    5. Ultimately disappointing. Incredibly heavy in exposition (explainer dialogue), it reads like a history lesson with a naive, Pollyannaish YA hero thrown in to make it more accessible. The author goes to too great lengths to shoehorn his hero into some heady events, but even then, what should be great conflicts between towering egos, or page-turning battles swimming in powder smoke and blood, are usually abstracted and described in passing, rendering them tepid at best. Doesn't fare well beside th [...]

    6. Like many reviewers, I wanted to like this book. I had low expectations and they were met. It was ok. Outside of subject matter, it does not compare with O'Brian in the least.While the historical background is accurate, the ship handling and chains of command as depicted are not. Moreover, the exploits of the young hero are closer to comic book superhero type than young midshipman in the equally young U.S. Navy.Too much too soon - if this is to be a series. Young Putnam goes way too far too fast [...]

    7. I liked it. It is historical fiction following the adventures of our young Bliven Putnam who has joined the US Navy in its infancy. I love history. The author used real events - the First Barbary War with real people. The events are all historical and mostly accurate. When we all studied American History, the Barbary Wars will get a few paragraphs in our history books. A book like this brings that time frame and those events to a much more detailed and intriguing level. Yes, there are probably m [...]

    8. President Jefferson made the United States Navy to establish our place in the world. This story answered some questions for me concerning later events in the Arab world, such as our involvement during Teddy Roosevelt's term as president. I thought the characters were interesting and made you want them to be able to carry out their mission. I think you get a small look at the time of piracy on the high seas and realize that it wasn't only in the Carribean or South Pacific. The fact that Americans [...]

    9. I came to this book with high hopes. I have read nearly every book of this sort in print, but they are universally told from the British point of view. So I began this book. Yet I found it underwhelming. Bliven Putnam seems an incredible character, entrusted with great responsibilities at such a young age and with such little experience. It's hard to believe, even given the circumstances of the US Navy at this time. Much of the story seems contrived and Putnam is pushed into too many situations [...]

    10. I had high expectations of this book and was a little disappointed. I've read author James Haley's biography of Sam Houston and loved it, so I was looking forward to reading a historical novel by Haley. "The Shores of Tripoli" was an enjoyable read, but the narrative style was a bit fragmented at times. I've just come to the conclusion that Haley is probably better at writing history than fiction.The overall plot of this book, as well as the historical part of the story, were excellent. The nove [...]

    11. As a reader it is important to feel passion from the author. This book has that in spades. With every word I could feel Haley's heart and soul being poured onto the pages. The book is full of historical and technical details. The battle scenes are fast paced and intriguing. Lieutenant Putnam is a likeable character. A mere teenager who is trying to carve his place in the world as a man. The Shores of Tripoli is a thoroughly researched look into the early 1800s and is a perfect read for lovers of [...]

    12. I got a free e-copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. I was honestly disappointed by this book. It was technically well written, but I did not find the writing style, characters, or plot particularly likeable or interesting or gripping at all. I found it hard to keep reading this novel, as I did not stay very interested in it, and I found myself kind of apathetic about the book as a whole.

    13. This was another book that just did not satisfy me, to the extent that I abandoned it a little over half way through.The plot sounded full of promise - just the sort of book I love, but unfortunately the writing was flat and hard to follow. Gripping it isn't - it reads more like a historical treatise.Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Group, Putnam for a digital ARC of The Shores of Tripoli in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

    14. I'm a history buff, enjoy historical fiction, and this was about a time in history that I knew little about, so I was looking forward to reading it. Did I like it? Well, yes and no. In the end I felt like there was a really good book hiding behind all of the literary mistakes. Frankly, I was shocked that something so rife with literary faux pas could have made it past Putnam's editors. As any school kid will tell you, history books are usually heavy on historical minutiae and light on drama. Mr. [...]

    15. This was such a timely book! It focuses on the life of one lieutenant in America's fledgling navy. Set in the very early 1800's, it tells the story of how America decided that it needed a navy to fight off the Barbary pirates (as well as the French and British…).In essence the people living along the northern coast of Africa—the Barbary States of Morocco, Tunis, Algers, and Tripoli—plied the waters of the Mediterranean looking for merchant ships to capture and claim. They also claimed the [...]

    16. This book was fun, and is one of the few that I think I would have enjoyed just as much had I read it as a 15-year old.I'm not sure I'd call author James L. Haley the modern American Patrick O'Brian, but he's close. It was cool looking up the nautical terms as I read, which I had to do when reading Master and Commander. The main characters, Bliven Putnam, Sam Bandy, and their assorted counterparts and superiors on various ships, are enjoyable to get to know. I once read a Christopher Hitchens pi [...]

    17. Somewhat wandering plot, although I suppose it is historical fiction, so I enjoyed the setting and the character of Lieutenant Putnam. He's a bit of a Harry Potter/Wesley Crusher wonder kid in that he always seems to be right and observes more momentous events than he ought to given that he starts as a midshipmen. Some characters come and go somewhat haphazardly and I couldn't always keep track. It's interesting that the narration sometimes cleaves very closely to Putnam's point of view but then [...]

    18. I really liked this book. It's right up my historical fiction alley and, to me, a worthy successor to the naval stories of Hornblower, Aubrey/Maturin (I only read 'Master and Commander' and found it kind of dull, and the some of Henty's stories in this genre. I am looking forward to reading the sequel. Christine saw the sequel at the library and rightly concluded that I would be interested in the series.The book has a good map and two really nice images of sails and decks on the USS Constitution [...]

    19. For lovers of historical fiction, this volume fills a giant void. Our schools teach almost nothing about the US Navy and its adventures in the Mediterranean circa 1800. Follow a young man from Connecticut as he battles pirates, trains his men in the operation of the ship's gunnery, and is initiated into the grown-up world of love. We read of sea battles in the great sailing ships, intrigue and politics in the dealings of the government officials, and the relationships that are formed by men in b [...]

    20. This is intended to be an American version of the Horatio Hornblower series by CS Forester or the Jack Aubrey series by Patrick O'Brian according to the author. It's not bad, but it isn't quite in that exalted company.That's partly because the characters are not as memorable and partly because the American navy simply didn't have nearly as grand a history to write about as the British navy did at the beginning of the 19th century.I like it well enough to reach for the sequel. But, more important [...]

    21. These kinds of books remind me of why historical fiction is so appealing. You experience history as an intimate human story, not an explanation of time, place, and events. And boy, life for a 14 year old kid (the main protagonist) in the 18th century could be quite an adventure. In our modern world, it's hard to imagine a young man joining the American Navy (early Marines), heading out to sea for the first time and encountering face-to-face skirmishes with Barbary pirates. Great story.

    22. It's OK. Only OK. It bills itself as an American tale to rival those of Forrester and O'Brian (Hornblower and Aubrey), and while it is the same era and situations the tale is uninspired. The writing is serviceable. Time and action compressions are a little confusing but not terrible.I enjoyed the tale as a mildly diverting read but I did not find the invitation to immerse in the environment of the tale that O'Brian extends and delivers on so consistently.

    23. I got this book in a Giveaway in exchange for an honest review. Very good historical novel about the UV involvement with the Barbary states in the early 1800's. Very similar to CS Forrester's Hornblower novels, just a little less verve. The history is really good and the characters likeable. Recommended.

    24. This was surprising! I won it as a GoodReads giveaway but was unsure how much I would like it. It was a bit "out of my box." But the story and characters drew me in, especially since many of the characters existed in real life and care was taken to depict them as they truly were.

    25. dragged a bitit is difficult to write a about an American Hornblower as the USN was not in action over a continuous length of time whereas the British Navy was at it forever and continuously employed.

    26. A well-crafted tale of American seamen during the Napoleonic era. Brims with authenticity. A good read, particularly for those who are interested in the era, and seafaring. I look forward to the sequels.

    27. Really enjoyed this book. Fast paced, likeable characters, the historical plot was very fun. I look forward for more from this author.

    28. Similar to Horatio Hornblower, only American. It ended rather abruptly, I assume to leave room for book #2.

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