Cover image for What's the deal? : Jefferson, Napoleon, and the Louisiana Purchase
What's the deal? : Jefferson, Napoleon, and the Louisiana Purchase
Blumberg, Rhoda.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : National Geographic Society, [1998]

Physical Description:
144 pages : illustrations ; 29 cm
Discusses the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 and the political maneuverings of Napoleon and Jefferson that made it possible.
Reading Level:
1190 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 9.5 3.0 35385.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 9 6 Quiz: 22852 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library DC157 .B55 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Newstead Library DC157 .B55 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Collins Library DC157 .B55 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Grand Island Library DC157 .B55 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Discusses the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 and the political maneuverings of Napoleon and Jefferson that made it possible.

Author Notes

Rhoda Blumberg was born in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York on December 14, 1917. She received a B.A. degree from Adelphi University in New York. After graduation, she worked as a freelance writer, researcher, and producer for both CBS Radio and NBC Radio, a talent scout for Simon and Schuster, and wrote features for several national publications. She got married in 1945 and spent more than 20 years raising their four children.

In 1973, she worked as executive editor of Simon and Schuster's travel guides. She soon decided to try writing children's nonfiction. Her first book, Firefighters, was published in 1975. She wrote more than 25 nonfiction books over the next 30 years. Her books included The Incredible Journey of Lewis and Clark, The Great American Gold Rush, The Remarkable Voyages of Captain Cook, Shipwrecked!: The True Adventures of a Japanese Boy, and York's Adventures with Lewis and Clark: An African-American's Part in the Great Expedition. Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun was awarded a 1986 Newbery Honor and won the Boston-Globe-Horn Book Award and the Golden Kite Award. She received the Washington Post/Children's Book Guild Award for her overall contribution to nonfiction. She also collaborated on several books with illustrator Murray Tinkelman including The Truth About Dragons and Backyard Bestiary. She died on June 6, 2016 at the age of 98.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 5^-9. In Blumberg's talented hands, an event often depicted as just one more musty land deal from the olden days becomes a vibrant tale of greed, double-dealing, and political finesse. Befitting the dramatic telling, the book opens with a "Cast of Characters," identifying the movers and shakers in the Louisiana territory's 120-year history. With balance, clarity, and spirit, Blumberg presents the complex history of fluid political alliances and the ever-present threat of war, explaining political motivations as well as political acts to give readers a sense of why the territory was important and how it was eventually acquired. She also makes it clear that the deal wasn't a foregone conclusion: Napoleon could have refused to negotiate; Britain could have joined the U.S. in a war to claim the territory. In fact, Blumberg ends her last chapter by proposing a few alternate histories, answering the "what if" questions that textbooks never ask. Divided into short sections within short chapters, the text is accessible enough to appeal to struggling readers. Its readability is further enhanced by a large format and generously spaced layout, which allows for full-page, black-and-white reproductions of oil paintings, engravings, and sketches. This is a welcome blend of scholarship, historical drama, and handsome design. Source notes, bibliography, time line. --Randy Meyer

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-Despite the catchy title that suggests a narrative with a light touch, this is a straightforward, well-researched, and smoothly written book of political history. Blumberg tells the story of the clash of the competing interests of France, England, and Spain for control over New Orleans and the vast "wasteland" beyond the Mississippi River. She charts the tangled web of diplomacy, treaties made and broken, and the unexpected consequences of events seemingly unrelated to the new government in America. The Queen of Spain desired land in Italy, Toussaint L'Ouverture destroyed a French army in St. Domingue, and Napoleon overrode all advice and chose to sell the Louisiana territory if President Jefferson could meet his price. The author makes an exciting and suspenseful tale out of the negotiations and the people involved in a political bargain that would determine the future of the United States. Students of political science and American history will welcome this title with its maps, timeline, and bibliography. Casual readers and history buffs, attracted by the numerous black-and-white reproductions and clever political cartoons of the period, will enjoy the fast-paced, behind-the-scenes account of one of the most important "deals" in our country's past.-Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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