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A great improvisation : Franklin, France, and the birth of America

Author: Stacy Schiff
Publisher: New York : Henry Holt, 2005.
Edition/Format:   Book : Biography : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
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  Read more...
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Named Person: Benjamin Franklin; Benjamin Franklin; Benjamin Franklin
Material Type: Biography, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Stacy Schiff
ISBN: 0805066330 9780805066333
OCLC Number: 57001654
Description: xvii, 489 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
Contents: The first mistake in public business is the going into it, 1776 --
Half the truth is often a great lie, 1776-1777 --
Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead, 1777 --
The cat in gloves catches no mice, 1777-1778 --
There is no such thing as a little enemy, 1778 --
Admiration is the daughter of ignorance, 1778 --
Success has ruined many a man, 1779 --
Everyone has wisdom enough to manage the affairs of his neighbors, 1780 --
The sting of a reproach is the truth of it, 1780-1781 --
Those who in quarrels interpose may get bloody nose, 1782 --
The absent are never without fault, 1783 --
Creditors have better memories than debtors, 1784-1785.
Responsibility: Stacy Schiff.
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Abstract:

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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