About the Book

Americans today have a love/hate relationship with France, but in How the French Saved America Tom Shachtman shows that without France, there might not be a United States of America.

To the rebelling colonies, French assistance made the difference between looming defeat and eventual triumph. Even before the Declaration of Independence was issued, King Louis XVI and French foreign minister Vergennes were aiding the rebels. After the Declaration, that assistance broadened to include wages for our troops; guns, cannon, and ammunition; engineering expertise that enabled victories and prevented defeats; diplomatic recognition; safe havens for privateers; battlefield leadership by veteran officers; and the army and fleet that made possible the Franco-American victory at Yorktown.

Nearly ten percent of those who fought and died for the American cause were French. Those who fought and survived, in addition to the well-known Lafayette and Rochambeau, include François de Fleury, who won a Congressional Medal for valor, Louis Duportail, who founded the Army Corps of Engineers, and Admiral de Grasse, whose sea victory sealed the fate of Yorktown.

This illuminating narrative history vividly captures the outsize characters of our European brothers, their battlefield and diplomatic bonds and clashes with Americans, and the monumental role they played in America's fight for independence and democracy.



About the Author

Tom Shachtman

Tom Shachtman has written or co-authored more than thirty-five books. His latest is GENTLEMEN SCIENTISTS AND REVOLUTIONARIES (2014) , and his best-known are RUMSPRINGA: TO BE OR NOT TO BE AMISH (2006) , ABSOLUTE ZERO AND THE CONQUEST OF COLD (1999) , and three books with FBI chief profiler Robert K. Ressler, including the international bestseller WHOEVER FIGHTS MONSTERS. He has also written documentaries for ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, and BBC, and has taught at New York University and lectured at Harvard, Stanford, Georgia Tech, the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian's National History Museum.
AMERICAN ICONOCLAST: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF ERIC HOFFER was published in November 2011. Presidential historian Herbert S. Parmet called it "as complete and masterful a biography as could be imagined."
His most recent award, in February 2010, was the American Institute of Physics' sciencewriting prize for his script of the two-hour documentary, ABSOLUTE ZERO AND THE CONQUEST OF COLD (PBS, 2008) , based on his book of the same name. The New York Times Book Review characterized that book as written "with passion and clarity," the Library Journal called it "a truly wonderful book." In print in four languages, it is cited in many compilations of the best popular science books.
Publishers' Weekly labeled RUMSPRINGA: TO BE OR NOT TO BE AMISH, Publishers Weekly "not only one of the most absorbing ... ever written about the Plain People, but a perceptive snapshot of the larger culture in which they live." The Christian Science Monitor wrote, "Shachtman is like a maestro, masterfully conducting an orchestra of history, anthropology, psychology, sociology, and journalism together in a harmonious and evocative symphony of all things Amish."
Earlier Shachtman books in use as secondary texts include TERRORS AND MARVELS (2002) , about science and technology in World War II; THE INARTICULATE SOCIETY (1995) , about mass media and culture, recently re-issued in paperback; SKYSCRAPER DREAMS: THE GREAT REAL ESTATE DYNASTIES OF NEW YORK (1991) , which Business Week characterized as "A fascinating history, showing how the city has been molded by the edifice complexes of risk-takers" and by The New York Times Book Review as "Superb reporting on the industry's wheeling and dealing"; and DECADE OF SHOCKS, 1963-1974 (1983) .
AROUND THE BLOCK (1997) , a socio-economic study of a single block in Manhattan over the course of a year, was called "a near-classic" by The Economist, by The New Yorker "a grand idea, splendidly executed," and by The Washington Post Book World a "thoughtful, interesting ... good and useful book."
Among his documentaries are six programs in the CBS science and technology series THE 21ST CENTURY. Documentaries that he also directed and produced, notably the CHILDREN OF POVERTY trilogy of one



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