To Fix a National Character: The United States in the First Barbary War, 1800-1805

At long last, my first monograph is available for pre-order! You can buy it through Johns Hopkins UP (the publisher) or any number of other establishments that sell books.

It’s a book about the First Barbary War, and how the United States tried to use its conflicts with the Barbary states to enter the Mediterranean community. It’s about how defeating Tripoli was less important than making nice with the Europeans in the area. It’s about how the brand-new US Navy and the brand-new consular service worked in concert—or in contention—with each other, trying to achieve similar goals with very little coordination or common instruction from the federal government.

There are stories of battles and captures, of duels and backstabbing, of impossible missions and unlikely friendships. There are some characters you will love to hate. There are some characters whose reputation needs a little rehabilitation. Lots of characters don’t live up to their potential, but some do. There are sad stories of death and loss, and there are triumphant stories of success against the odds.

In the end, the First Barbary War was a deeply unsatisfying war for the American combatants. Very little was achieved on a national scale, though individuals in the war capitalized later on the lessons they learned. So this book focuses on the small stories that made up a small war.

If you like the navy, or early American history, or diplomacy, or maritime history, maybe you should buy this book. 🙂

If you would like me to come give a talk about my book, whether live, on a podcast, or through some other venue, please reach out as well!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *