Customer Reviews for

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

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  • Posted March 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Going Rogue, Revolutionary Style

    While talk of Tea Parties and founding fathers may be all the rage, the founding of the nation-as Paul's book makes delightfully clear-was far more complex, fragile, hard fought and exceptional than we ever knew. Indeed, this excellent and well-researched book should be mandatory reading for students of early American history. They'll not only encounter Revolutionary heroes far more heroic-and revolutionary-than those of the standard tale: a misunderstood and unjustly maligned patriot merchant who sacrificed all, a cross-dressing chevalier who dared blackmail a monarch, and a playwright who creates and is ultimately undone by Figaro. They'll also learn what "going rogue" really means.

    Reviewers will no doubt offer well-deserved praise for Paul's engrossing narrative and masterful storytelling skills. Many writers attempt to bring history to life with gunpowder and battlefield maneuvers, but when was the last time you couldn't put down a history book out of sheer fascination? Perhaps that highlights the book's true genius. It not only inspires a deeper appreciation of the political complexities of its time and the personal determination of its characters-remove any one and American independence could have become just another unrealized idea-it does so through the most unlikely approach: simply telling the truth, the whole truth. Thanks to "Unlikely Allies", to borrow from the late Paul Harvey, now you know the rest of the story.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 16, 2014

    Incredibly Interesting

    This is NOT your 6th grade version of American History! The odd characters who combine to perform actions that saved the American Revolution make this book hard to put down. It's hilarious and extremely well written - guaranteed to be a story about financing the American Revolution that you have not heard before!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2014

    An interesting account of an important, but largely forgotten pi

    An interesting account of an important, but largely forgotten piece of the American Revolution.  The narrative was engaging, and it was interesting to see the halo of history pulled back with an inside look at many of the politics and intrigue that lead to France intervening in the American Revolution

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    An exceptional retelling of the intrigue and the deceptions that

    An exceptional retelling of the intrigue and the deceptions that played in the politics of getting the aid and support needed to pull off the American Revolution.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2011

    One of my favorites...

    I am somewhat biased having grown up in Wethersfield, CT (Silas Deane's hometown), but I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The author did an amazing job researching the subject matter and presenting it in an entertaining, easy-to-read format. I also love that he vindicates Deane (a hero of mine) against the claims that he was a traitor to the revolution, pointing out that there were those in Congress who had personal grudges against him. They sullied his reputation while the whole time he's out trying to secure France's aid and getting virtually no guidance or assistance from those who sent him. Then Ben Franklin shows up in the 11th hour and gets all the credit.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Reads like fiction - Bursting with facts!

    I don't pretend to be an "expert" on American history, so I cannot truly attest to historical accuracy of the research, but this book is incredibly enjoyable informational reading! The "characters" draw you in entirely and the hidden truths of how our independence was choreographed are incredible. I highly recommend this for any history buff in school or out - but this would make a fantastic subject for a book report!

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