A Great Improvisation

A Great Improvisation

Franklin, France, and the Birth of America

Book - 2005
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Revolution; it was Franklin who would engineer the Franco-American alliance of 1778 and help to negotiate the peace of 1783. The French posting would prove the most inventive act in a life of astonishing inventors." "In A Great Improvisation Stacy Schiff offers an account of Franklin's Parisian adventure and of America's debut on the world stage. Here is the unfamiliar chapter of the Revolution, a tale of American infighting and treacherous backroom dealings."--BOOK JACKET.
vital service to his country but as the most revealing of the man. In Paris he was by turns indomitable and vulnerable, a brilliant negotiator and an abysmal administrator. He was at the height of his power, isolated, sabotaged by opportunists, at odds with his colleagues, preyed upon by French and British spies. Fortunately, he was no innocent abroad; he succeeded brilliantly. It was in large part on account of his fame, charisma, and ingenuity that France underwrote the American
a winter sea thick with enemy cruisers. He was seventy years old, without any diplomatic training, and possessed of the most rudimentary French. He was also among the most famous men in the world." "Franklin well understood that he was off on the greatest gamble of his career. But despite minimal direction from Congress he was soon outwitting the British secret service and stirring a passion for a republic in an absolute monarchy." "The French mission stands not only as Franklin's most
""In December 1776, a small boat delivered an old man to France." So begins a narrative account of Benjamin Franklin's French mission, the most exacting - and momentous - eight years of his life." "When Franklin embarked, the colonies were without money, munitions, gunpowder, or common cause; like all adolescents, they were to discover that there was a difference between declaring independence and achieving it. To close that gap Franklin was dispatched to Paris, amid great secrecy, across
Publisher: New York : Henry Holt, 2005
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 0805066330
Branch Call Number: 327.73044 SCH
Characteristics: xvii, 489 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., ports. ; 25 cm


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