When the United States Spoke French

When the United States Spoke French : Five Refugees Who Shaped a Nation

3.69 (69 ratings by Goodreads)

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"A bright, absorbing account of a short period in history that still resounds today." --Kirkus Reviews Beautifully written and brilliantly argued, When the United States Spoke French offers a fresh perspective on the tumultuous years of America as a young nation, when the Atlantic world's first republican experiments were put to the test. It explores the country's formative period from the viewpoint of five distinguished Frenchmen who took refuge in America after leaving their homes and families in France, crossing the Atlantic, and landing in Philadelphia. Through their stories, we see some of the most famous events of early American history in a new light--from the battles with Native Americans on the western frontier to the Haitian Revolution, the Whiskey Rebellion to the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 512 pages
  • 148.6 x 214.1 x 18.5mm | 358.34g
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0143127454
  • 9780143127451

Review quote

The Wall Street Journal "[A] fascinating account of French involvement in the economic and cultural life of the young American Republic.... Mr. Furstenberg has the vision to encompass a broad pageant in this splendid book, which combines erudition and great flair."Seattle Times "Furstenberg opens a window into a lost world of glittering Philadelphian dinner parties, rough backwoodsmen speaking French and homesick émigrés. It's a fascinating portrait of the diplomatic intrigue between France and England for power and position, with the United States displaying a disconcertingly astute aptitude for playing them off against each other. When the United States Spoke French is essential reading for understanding the complex relationship between France and the United States that, to this day, endures."JHU Gazette "A fascinating examination of the United States at a pivotal moment in history that is as broadly sweeping and narratively captivating as a historical novel."Publishers Weekly "A lush social and cultural history of French influences...riveting."Kirkus Reviews "Furstenberg expands the historical outlook of the 18th century's great upheavals and shows the global effects of the Enlightenment. The author studies five former members of the French Assemblée Constituante who became refugees in Philadelphia...Though they were here to escape and to advance their personal fortunes, along the way, they helped the young country survive...[When the United States Spoke French is] a bright, absorbing account of a short period in history that still resounds today."
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About Francois Furstenberg

FRANÇOIS FURSTENBERG is an associate professor of history at Johns Hopkins University and the author of In the Name of the Father: Washington's Legacy, Slavery, and the Making of a Nation. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
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Rating details

69 ratings
3.69 out of 5 stars
5 22% (15)
4 43% (30)
3 22% (15)
2 9% (6)
1 4% (3)
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