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Unlikely Allies: How a Merchant, a Playwright, and a Spy Saved the American Revolution Paperback – Bargain Price, November 2, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Arthur Morey steps into the boots of three unwitting heroes of the American Revolution: with his smooth delivery and flawless voice, Morey transforms into Silas Deane, Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, and Chevalier d'Eon—respectively the eponymous merchant, playwright, and spy, allowing listeners to lose themselves in this compelling, true story of American's origins. Morey's voice and Paul's words prove to be the ideal combination for an entertaining and informative history. A Riverhead hardcover (Reviews, Dec. 21). (Dec.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
"[A] keen, intriguing assessment of how personal politics might play out on the international stage." ---Kirkus --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
It is true that much of our (typically taught) American History is framed by the righteousness and virtue of our "founding fathers." I had always been taught that men like Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Franklin were superior beings, almost godlike in their perfection. However, Professor Paul's book adds some perspective and depth to those history lessons that were spoon-fed to us so long ago. Professor Paul, while paying much respect to these and other important players in our commonly taught history reveals that these men were, indeed, quite human, and were just as imperfect as we all are. None of us is above reproach, nor were our founding fathers. With the possible exception of Silas Deane, none of us gives unconditionally of our time, resources, and energy. We all want or need something for ourselves in return for our efforts, even our efforts on behalf of our country or on behalf of the "greater good." I am thankful to Professor Paul for introducing me to Silas Dean, to Beaumarchais, and to the Chevalier d'Eon. His well-written account will, I believe, withstand the examinations of time, and continue to delight students of American History in the years to come. Overall, a very good read!
Unlike some reviewers, I would hardly describe Unlikely Allies as rollicking or wildly entertaining. There are a few humorous elements, mainly in the expose of cross-dresser Chevalier d'Eon, but the author fails to show what d'Eon's contribution was. There are some obvious lapses in Paul's research, as when he describes the 1781 Yorktown Conference as taking place in Deane's Wethersfield, CT house (it happened next door). With respect to Deane and Beaumarchais, however, Paul has done a creditable job, plowing through obscure records that few before him have studied. Deane's mission to Paris was truly impossible, and, unsupported by his own government, what he achieved was nothing less than amazing. In the process, betrayed by his friends, he lost his family, his fortune, and ultimately his life. Perhaps now Silas Deane will be granted his rightful place among America's founding fathers.
French names get a little thick at times, but the story is captivating. This was one of those stories that are hard to stop reading.