A history of the U.S. Navy's struggle with pirates who plundered the Caribbean from 1800-1825. Piracy became a domestic problem when, along with the Louisiana Territory, the United States acquired the magnetic Jean Lafitte and his colleagues. Their profitable activities had been winked at by the permissive Creoles, but American shipowners, whose vessels suffered over 3000 attacks between 1812-22, demanded protection. So Washington dispatched a force under Commodore Porter, a hero of the War of 1812, to clean out the bandits. Porter, an intrepid, pugnacious, touchy little man, dominates a narrative filled with sea battles, carnage, yellow fever, and Navy lore; and the author is at his best in portraying him and others like Perry and the fiery Stephen Decatur. Wheeler, a former Marine, writes in a brisk, straightforward style. Of most interest to Navy buffs and pirate afficionados.