Book Review: When the United States Spoke French

Book Review: When the United States Spoke French

LiQ_Mag_Dec_2014This book review first appeared in the December 2014 issue of Life in Québec Magazine.

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When the United States Spoke French
By François Furstenberg
ISBN: 9781594204418
Price: $36.00
Published by Penguin Press

François Furstenberg, a well-known American historian, wrote this book about the French presence in Philadelphia while teaching and living in Montreal.

The book covers the period from 1792, after the start of the French Revolution, through the Louisiana Purchase of 1803.

It is a detailed account of five French aristocrats who resettled in the new United States and how they helped connect the new country to Europe and the French colonies, during a time when the United States was still fighting the Seven Years’ War with Britain and Spain.

At the time, Philadelphia was the capital of the new nation. Since most immigrants landed there, those who had money could quickly get involved in the American decision-making process.

The book explains how these five Frenchmen influenced the nation-building and westward expansion that would shape the United States as we know it.

LiQ_Mag_Abonnez-vousFor anyone interested in history, especially those of French heritage, the story is surprisingly intriguing and even brings Canada and Quebec into the equation as it progresses through a number of historical events.

Review by Job Patstone


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About Author

Job Patstone

Job Patstone was born in Hamilton, ON. and has lived in Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer AB. He is presently living in Quebec City, with his wife. He worked for Xerox for 26 years and was an ESL teacher for another ten.

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