A lot of the pirates weren't from the Barbary states at all, however. They were from Britain and other countries, and they were as brave, foolhardy, and ruthless as they come. Tinniswood's book is full of sea battles, brutality, hangings, chases, and escapes, all of which make for great reading.
What might be a little surprising is how relevant the book is to our own country's past ("to the shores of Tripoli") and also to what's happening right now. Tripoli is back in the news, and the Somali pirates are making headlines everywhere while using the virtually the same tactics as the Barbary pirates.
If you like reading about the pirates of old (and who doesn't?), you can't go wrong here. Highly recommended.