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A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America
av Stacy Schiff
Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Schiff tells how Benjamin Franklin--seventy years old, without any diplomatic training, and possessed of the most rudimentary French--convinced France, an absolute monarchy, to underwrite America's experiment in democracy. When Franklin stepped onto French soil, he well understood he was embarking on the greatest gamble of his career. By virtue of fame, charisma, and ingenuity, he outmaneuvered British spies, French informers, and hostile colleagues; engineered the Franco-American alliance of 1778; and helped to negotiate the peace of 1783. From these pages emerge a particularly human and yet fiercely determined Founding Father, as well as a profound sense of how fragile, improvisational, and international was our country's bid for independence.
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