Review by Choice Review
Narrower than the title indicates, but more ambitious than the subtitle allows, this is the first life-and-times study of the international businessman who was Benjamin Franklin's landlord and a key intermediary between Old Regime France and the American insurgents. Chaumont's career would be worth exploring as a case study in French business history. It is important on an international scale, because it touches Franklin, John Adams, John Paul Jones, and the writer and arms supplier Beaumarchais. Schaeper has consulted archives in France and the US to document his story of money, ambition, friendship, and international sociability. Specialists will welcome his judicious treatment of controversies surrounding Chaumont's relationships with Franklin and Jones, and his description of life on Chaumont's estate in Passy, where landlord and tenant maintained independent households. Generalists will profit from the book as a window on the complementary nature of business and diplomacy in the late 18th century. All levels. D. G. Troyansky Texas Tech University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
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