Since the founding of the United States, the Barbary pirates of North Africa threatened with impunity American lives, commerce, and honor on the high seas. But in 1815, Commodore Stephen Decatur led a charge to victory. The Second Barbary War, as it became known, helped define American foreign policy and consolidate its naval power.
In Decatur’s Wake: The Fateful Rivalry Behind the Lightning Defeat of Barbary Terror, Daniel Wattenberg shows us how, while painting a portrait of the two senior officers turned mortal enemies who fought for a shot at personal redemption and a naval command of unprecedented scale and pivotal historical significance. Decatur’s Wake is a rousing true narrative that crackles with the tension and torques with the surprise twists of a psychological thriller.
Daniel Wattenberg is the author of Decatur’s Wake, a Kindle Single. He is a widely cited, award-winning cultural essayist, columnist, critic, investigative writer, and editor. His work has appeared in many magazines and newspapers, including the American Spectator, Atlantic.com, Civilization, the Daily Caller, Forbes FYI, George, National Review, Playboy, Reason, the Weekly Standard, the Arizona Republic, Baltimore Sun, New York Post and Washington Times. He served in the State Department in the bureaus of Inter-American Affairs and Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs and in the United States Information Agency at the US Mission to UNESCO and the US Embassy in Paris. He worked in the Merchant Marines in the engine room of a container ship. As the lead singer of punk-era New York bands, he appeared often at the historic CBGB and opened for the Ramones. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and daughter.