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Unlikely Allies: How a Merchant, a Playwright, and a Spy Saved the American Revolution

Unlikely Allies: How a Merchant, a Playwright, and a Spy Saved the American Revolution

Escrito por Joel Richard Paul

Narrado por Arthur Morey


Unlikely Allies: How a Merchant, a Playwright, and a Spy Saved the American Revolution

Escrito por Joel Richard Paul

Narrado por Arthur Morey

valoraciones:
5/5 (5 valoraciones)
Longitud:
10 horas
Editorial:
Publicado:
Jan 18, 2010
ISBN:
9781400184903
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descripción

Unlikely Allies is the story of three remarkable historical figures. Silas Deane was a Connecticut merchant and delegate to the Continental Congress as the American colonies struggled to break with England. Caron de Beaumarchais was a successful playwright who wrote The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro. And the flamboyant and mysterious Chevalier d'Eon-officer, diplomat, and sometime spy-was the talk of London and Paris. Is the Chevalier a man or a woman?



When Deane is sent to France to convince the French government to support the revolutionary cause, he enlists the help of Beaumarchais. Together, they successfully smuggle weapons, ammunition, and supplies to New England just in time for the crucial Battle of Saratoga, which turned the tide of the American Revolution. And the catalyst for Louis XVI's support of the Americans against England was the Chevalier d'Eon, whose decision to declare herself a woman helped to lead to the Franco-American alliance. These three people spin a fascinating web of political intrigue and international politics that stretches across oceans as they ricochet from Versailles to Georgian London to the Pennsylvania State House (now Independence Hall) in Philadelphia. Each man has his own reasons for wanting to see America triumph over the British, and each contends daily with the certainty that no one is what they seem. The line between friends and enemies is blurred, spies lurk in every corner, and the only way to survive is to trust no one.



An edge-of-your-seat story full of fascinating characters and lavish with period detail and sense of place, Unlikely Allies is Revolutionary history in all of its juicy, lurid glory.
Editorial:
Publicado:
Jan 18, 2010
ISBN:
9781400184903
Formato:
Audiolibro


Sobre el autor

Joel Richard Paul studied at Amherst College, the London School of Economics, Harvard Law School, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He currently teaches international economic law, foreign relations, and constitutional law at the University of California Hastings Law School, where he is also the Associate Dean. Previously, he taught at the University of Connecticut, Yale University, Leiden University in the Netherlands, and the American University in Washington. He has also practiced law with an international firm. Paul writes about international trade, globalization, regulatory competition, private international law, and the president's foreign relations powers. He is currently writing a history of U.S. foreign relations and international law.

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  • (5/5)
    "Reading history teaches us to doubt, to question, and, if we're lucky, to discover new heroes."So writes Joel Richard Paul at the conclusion of this fascinating book that sheds light on a little-known episode in the history of the American Revolution. While several of the best-known of America's founding fathers represented the new United States of America at the court of its first and principal ally, the regime of Louis XVI (Adams, Franklin and Jefferson, to name only a few), the real hero of Paul's narrative is Connecticut merchant Silas Deane who impoverished himself in the service of his country, only to fall victim to political infighting.The subtitle of the book doesn't really reflect its focus, which is primarily on Deane and his relationship with the playwright Beaumarchais (author of the Marriage of Figaro and the Barber of Seville), who helped him covertly procure and finance arms shipments to the United States in the months leading up to and following the declaration of independence, when the French government was wary of violating its recent peace agreement with Britain by supporting rebellious colonials. Deane, isolated in Paris, worked with Beaumarchais and shipped the goods to the US that led to the turning point of the war, the capture of Burgoyne's army. (The spy of the title is the cross-dressing Chevalier d'Eon, whose life, while intriguing, is peripheral to the main story; (s)he played no direct role in supporting the revolution. Paul has a real knack for making history spring alive -- I can almost see Deane's traitorous assistant sneaking into a Parisian park to place copies of his correspondence in a bottle where English spies could later retrieve them, or Benjamin Franklin lounging in his bath at the seedy boat/bath on the Seine. He's obviously passionate about restoring Deane to his rightful place among the pantheon of Revolutionary war heroes (and doesn't mind if he puts a dent in the halos of a few others in the process) but he makes a compelling case. I'm hoping that this is the first of many books by Paul; it's hard to go back over such well-trodden ground and emerge with a story that is so vivid, exciting and fresh. This is a must-read for anyone with an interest in the American Revolution, and it also offers an intriguing look at the machinations of power politics in Europe in the 1760s and 1770s. I'd sign up for any history class offered by Paul, if he didn't teach on the other side of the continent, that is...