Very Interesting book. They reader makes it more interesting then it would have been, had it been read by someone else. Even listing of the items on a manifest, sounds not dull. It's a much more in-depth look at history then you get in any school book, I tell you. The Fact is, that in that time of the world, as with any other, those who are true, are always outdone by those who are sneaky. They show a lot of the back stabbing that went on in politics, and the poor people who suffered for it. The constant distrust of Muslims and Christians. The slave trade, and how deals are made, broken, remade, rebroken, and then remade (till one side gets power enough to rebreak the deal). sigh. Can no one be trusted?
Don't be fooled into thinking this is a war book. there are very few battles in it. It is about the underbelly of government deals, and the REAL people who pay for them.
This book is amazing in the fact that everything that happens Then, is just as pertinent now.
My reading and listening tastes are eclectic.
First, the reader does an excellent job with the material. I knew something of the shores of Tripoli, but I was completely unaware of the entire story. Wow! The political intrigues are staggering. The events related are nail-biting cliff hangers. The personalities of all involved are amazing. I listened to this twice in a row, because it was that intriguing. It is easy to see how these events in the past have influenced current relations in the Middle East and American policies towards piracy in Somalia. Listen and learn, a lot.
This book is an interesting historical account of William Eaton, a man I never knew about but who tackled amazing tasks under unbelievable circumstances. I am surprised that he doesn't hold a more well known place in history. The book does a good job of keeping my interest and giving an historical account of William Eaton's story.
No doubt American history is teeming with individuals who have virtually disappeared from history books but at one glorious moment held the nation in awe of their achievements. "General" Eaton was certainly one of those characters. This is his story. Although the author has an affinity for wandering off the subject to fill in some rather trivial details, it is Eaton's story and his alone that makes this a worthwhile listen.
I am so impressed by richard zacks research and writing that I am about to download his other book. If you like early American history and have wondered where the words "and the shores of Tripoli" came from in the Marine Corps' hymn. This book is for you.
The only negative part of this title I think listeners need to be aware of is the weak narration. The reader uses little inflection, then suddenly breaks into weird accents many of which are inappropriate to the nationality of the character he is portraying. That having been said I was so taken by the story and the history that I honestly didn't mind.
Thoroughly enjoyed this book and it provided a candid window into the disfunctinal proces of our democratic government. The lesson I learned is that regardless of the egos and politics, our government and country will prevail due to the patriotism audacity and daring of the American Spirit. May we never loose it!!
I can't believe that this story dragged us on for several hours while Eaton got his act together for his big mission and then just stopped before the mission was launched. Really a big disappointment.