For year's, I've wondered if the phrase "to the shores of Tripoly" was just some haphazard phrase dropped into the United States Marine anthem. Now I understand that the Marines were really there, part of a 19th century campaign in the country that would eventually become Libya. They were a small part of an international force, attempting to replace an Arabian leader with his disaffected brother. Sent by Thomas Jefferson, William Eaton attempted to mount the country's first covert mission to rescue 300 enslaved American sailors, defeat the Barbary pirates, and dethrone a foreign government. Richard Zacks' heavily researched, heavily documented work was never dull and plodding but moved with the ease of a international novel of intrigue. His year's of research pays off with an interesting look into 19th century America and left me with the sense that little has changed in the world of politics, national or international. It was not a shining moment and only one Marine was honored afterward. The leader of the expedition, died in poverty and alcoholism. Published by Hyperion, New York; 385 pages.