Cover image for Jefferson's great gamble : the remarkable story of Jefferson, Napoleon and the men behind the Louisiana Purchase
Title:
Jefferson's great gamble : the remarkable story of Jefferson, Napoleon and the men behind the Louisiana Purchase
Author:
Cerami, Charles A.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Naperville, Ill. : Sourcebooks, [2003]

©2003
Physical Description:
309 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Language:
English
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 10.4 17.0 75558.
Subject Term:
ISBN:
9781570719455
Format :
Book

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E333 .C465 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

A momentous moment in American history, one that forever changed the scope of the nation and its people.


Author Notes

Charles A. Cerami is the author of eleven books. Cerami's articles have been published in The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, The Spectator (of London) and Swiss Review of World Affairs


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Cerami does not shy away from offering vigorous opinions on the actions of the principals in the Louisiana Purchase. This propensity might jaundice professional historians, but Cerami's readers are not pros but peers: those who enjoy their history packaged as a fast-paced and muscular story. Cerami produces this effect by attending to the diplomatic instructions that Jefferson and Madison sent to Robert Livingston and James Monroe in Paris and likewise those of Napoleon to his ministers and legate in Washington, the otherwise obscure Louis-AndrePichon. Cerami fairly revels in commenting about dispatches and audiences, giving Monroe laurels for closing the deal in 1803 but scoring Livingston for falsifying the record in an attempt to gain glory. History buffs will find satisfying new nuggets in Cerami's synthesis. --Gilbert Taylor


Publisher's Weekly Review

In this bicentennial year of the Louisiana Purchase, it's hard to imagine a more lively, shrewd and vivid narrative of the tangled events leading to it than this book. Compared to Roger Kennedy's zigzagging, unfocused Mr. Jefferson's Lost Cause (look for a review nexty week), Cerami's book is notable for its readability and clarity. When he occasionally strays from his subject, he stumbles badly and shouldn't be taken as an authority on history in other times; nor is his tale based on the most recent, pertinent scholarship and available documents. But about the geopolitical and diplomatic circumstances of the purchase, Cerami (A Marshall Plan for the 1990s, etc.) is a master. His greatest achievement is to bring all of the characters involved-not only the well-known figures like Napoleon, Jefferson and James Monroe, but also the less famous but equally significant ones such as Robert Livingston, Louis-Andr Pichon and Franois de Barb-Marbois-brilliantly to life. Cerami's book will not satisfy those looking to understand the larger significance of the sudden doubling of American territory-its implications for slavery, politics and the emergence of the U.S. as a continental and world power. But anyone wanting to read the story of a momentous turning point in American history, a story of diplomatic maneuvering and international politics, will be hard-pressed to find a better version than this. Illus. Agent, Bob Silverstein. (On sale Mar. 3) Forecast: Given the publisher's deep marketing savvy, the book's merits and probable media focus on the 200th anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase, this title should sell handsomely. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Like several works published to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase, this title is reputed to reveal startling new information. While it does not state much that historians have not already known, what it does accomplish is valuable in its own right. Cerami (Benjamin Bennaker) gives a reliable, fresh, clear, well-written retelling of the long and tangled negotiations between a team of Americans (chiefly Thomas Jefferson, Robert Livingston, James Madison, and James Monroe) and a rival team of Frenchmen (chiefly Napoleon and his adviser, Talleyrand). Cerami also does justice to numerous secondary characters who played essential roles in this diplomatic drama. Cerami's thorough account of this epic land deal is superior to another recent work, Roger Kennedy's disjointed and confusing Mr. Jefferson's Lost Cause: Land, Farmers, Slavery, and the Louisiana Purchase. Recommended for all public and academic libraries.-T.J. Schaeper, St. Bonaventure Univ., NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Prefacep. IX
1. Toward the Great Riverp. 1
2. Friendly France Threatens Americap. 23
3. The Fateful Islandp. 45
4. One Spot on the Globep. 55
5. The Mistrusted Envoyp. 72
6. Napoleon's Odd Couplep. 91
7. Confusing Bonapartep. 111
8. The du Pont Wayp. 133
9. An Extraordinary Ministerp. 145
10. Waiting for Monroep. 153
11. Agonizing Momentsp. 167
12. The Tremulous Pausep. 179
13. Monroe's Historic Decisionp. 191
14. The Moment in Historyp. 201
15. The Senate's Pretended Reluctancep. 207
16. The Antagonists Move Onp. 219
17. A Territory on the Movep. 245
18. The Long Sequelp. 261
Notesp. 279
Bibliographyp. 299
Indexp. 303
About the Authorp. 310