The history of America's conflict with the piratical states of the Mediterranean runs through the presidencies of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison; the adoption of the Constitution; the Quasi-War with France and the War of 1812; the construction of a full-time professional navy; and, most important, the nation's haltering steps toward commercial independence. Frank Lambert's genius is to see in the Barbary Wars the ideal means of capturing the new nation's shaky emergence in the complex context of the Atlantic world.
Depicting a time when Britain ruled the seas and France most of Europe, The Barbary Wars proves America's earliest conflict with the Arabic world was always a struggle for economic advantage rather than any clash of cultures or religions.
""For those in search of lessons for today, Lambert's crisp and readable narrative makes clear that it took a combination of patient diplomacy, military force, and good luck to make the Atlantic and Mediterranean worlds safe for U.S. commerce. One suspects that all three factors are needed again now."" --Walter Russell Mead, Foreign Affairs
""Does an excellent job of placing the Barbary Wars within the context of their time."" --The Roanoke Times