Dr Franklin Goes to France: How America Was Born in Monarchist Europe
by Stacy Schiff
Six months after America declared her independence, Congress dispatched Benjamin Franklin to France to solicit aid and arms for the upcoming fight. ... Show synopsis Six months after America declared her independence, Congress dispatched Benjamin Franklin to France to solicit aid and arms for the upcoming fight. He was seventy years old, possessed of the most rudimentary French and without any diplomatic training. But this most remarkable of envoys, who had in previous incarnations been a printer, a postmaster, a fixer, a colonial agent and who had tamed lightning, was also among the most famous men in the world. In his eight Parisian years he worked harder than he ever had in his life, charmed the French, outwitted the British spies, and stirred a passion for a republic in an absolute monarchy. It was largely through his charisma and negotiating skill that France bankrolled the American Revolution. Stacy Schiff tells a tale of international intrigue entirely from primary sources, working from a host of diplomatic archives, family papers, spy reports, and records of the French foreign service. From her pages emerges an intimate portrait of a brilliant man, as well as a sense of the fragility and improvisation of his country's bid for independence.