Indivisible: Daniel Webster and the Birth of American Nationalism
The story of how Daniel Webster popularized the ideals of American nationalism that helped forge our nation’s identity and inspire Abraham Lincoln to preserve the Union
When the United States was founded in 1776, its citizens didn’t think of themselves as “Americans.” They were New Yorkers or Virginians or Pennsylvanians. It was decades later that the seeds of American nationalism—identifying with one’s own nation and supporting its broader interests—began to take root. But what kind of nationalism should Americans embrace? The state-focused and racist nationalism of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson? Or the belief that the U.S. Constitution made all Americans one nation, indivisible, which Daniel Webster and others espoused?
In Indivisible, historian and law professor Joel Richard Paul tells the fascinating story of how Webster, a young New Hampshire attorney turned politician, rose to national prominence through his powerful oratory and unwavering belief in the United States and captured the national imagination. In his speeches, on the floors of the House and Senate, in court, and as Secretary of State, Webster argued that the Constitution was not a compact made by states but an expression of the will of all Americans. As the greatest orator of his age, Webster saw his speeches and writings published widely, and his stirring rhetoric convinced Americans to see themselves differently, as a nation bound together by a government of laws, not parochial interests. As these ideas took root, they influenced future leaders, among them Abraham Lincoln, who drew on them to hold the nation together during the Civil War.
As he did in Without Precedent and Unlikely Allies, Joel Richard Paul has written in Indivisible both a compelling history and a fascinating account of one of the founders of our national perspective.
Praise for INDIVISIBLE
"...a tour de force of compact narrative..." ~ Wall Street Journal
“With a lucidity of the written word to match his subject’s famed eloquence of the spoken word, Joel Richard Paul shows how Webster’s oratorical brilliance helped to define the meaning of the Union in the antebellum era.” ~ James M. McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era
“Joel Paul’s Indivisible tells the remarkable story of Daniel Webster, a towering American whose hypnotic oratory in the 19th century helped to define the character of the American nation. A stirring and monumental achievement.” ~ Congressman Jamie Raskin
“Indivisible is an impressively researched book that is also a fine example of narrative analysis and old-fashioned storytelling. With a clear-eyed assessment of Daniel Webster’s political brilliance and disappointments, Paul centers Webster in the 19th-century debate over young America’s identity. Indivisible recounts how the moderate anti-slavery Webster made nationalism a “civic religion” in a country with deep political division over questions of racial equality. Indivisible is a must-read as issues related to race and America's national identity continue to vex the country.” ~ Anita F. Hill, University Professor of Social Policy, Law and Women's Studies, Brandeis University and author of Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence.
“In this compelling narrative, Paul portrays the tragedy of the man whose devotion to “liberty and union, now and forever, one and inseparable” could not overcome the strident demands of slave-holders and the populist racism of whites North and South. This insightful account gives Webster his due in a cautionary tale for a nation once again struggling to sustain constitutional liberty for all its people.” ~ Robert A. Gross, Bancroft Prize-winning author of The Minutemen and Their World and The Transcendentalists and Their World
“Joel Richard Paul’s wonderful book blends episodes from the life of Daniel Webster, the silver-tongued orator who defined American national identity as “liberty and union, now and forever, one and inseparable” with kaleidoscopic coverage of other leaders and the events that nearly tore the country apart during the first half of the 19th century.” ~ William Taubman, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Khrushchev: The Man and His Era.
“Distinguished author Joel Richard Paul has given us an elegant, highly-readable new biography of the greatly influential New England leader Daniel Webster (1782-1850). Webster was a fervent advocate of saving the national union when arguments over continuing or ending slavery were threatening to tear the republic apart. Webster favored a political compromise that ultimately failed, all masterfully explained by Paul in this gripping volume….highly recommended!" ~ James Kirby Martin, Professor of History, Emeritus, University of Houston and author of Surviving Dresden.
“Daniel Webster was never a president, general, or Supreme Court justice. But he did more than perhaps any other individual to create an American nationality. Joel Richard Paul's richly contextual biography vividly captures the flawed, brilliant leader who forged American institutions and identity around his motto, 'Liberty and Union.' From incandescent oratory to morally muddled compromises, Webster did everything he could to battle extremism and division, a struggle all too resonant in our own polarized times." ~ T.J. Stiles, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The First Tycoon and Custer's Trials
“Historian Paul (Without Precedent) examines in this intriguing study the role that 19th-century lawyer, congressman, and orator Daniel Webster played in promoting the idea of American nationalism based on the Constitution…..Full of fascinating digressions and astute analysis, this is a rewarding look at one of America’s most enduring fault lines.” ~ Publisher's Weekly
"A majestic history of “the development of American nationalism from the War of 1812 to 1852. Though Daniel Webster (1782-1852) is mentioned in the subtitle, this book is about far more than one man’s influence, significant as it was. In his latest examination of a specific period of American history, constitutional and international law professor Paul, author of Without Precedent and Unlikely Allies, fashions an impressively multilayered narrative. Focusing on a series of crucial figures and historical moments in the first half of the 19th century—e.g., the War of 1812; the Monroe Doctrine and Transcontinental Treaty, through which Secretary of State John Quincy Adams “had committed the United States to becoming a hegemon”; and the rise of Andrew Jackson’s “toxic populism”—the author shows how American citizens began to gain a sense of common community and purpose, as opposed to identifying with a particular region. As a lawyer and senator, Webster made an early impression as “a leading opponent of slavery and the voice of New England.” During the Jackson administration, he helped to lead the charge against Jackson’s “mean-spirited campaign[s] against civil servants, bankers, foreigners, and Native Americans.” Webster opposed the annexation of Texas as a needless provocation of war with Mexico and the extension of slavery into new territory. However, he also defended the property of slave owners in the case of the slave uprising aboard the Creole in 1841. That incident, coupled with his later defense of the Fugitive Slave Act, tainted his glorious reputation. Indeed, in the years to come, many believed that Webster sold his soul for Southern votes in his quest for the presidency. Following the biographical thread of “one of the most influential statesmen of the antebellum period,” Paul delivers important historical context along the way, showing how “while the Union was falling apart, our American identity was taking shape. An ambitious work that wonderfully delineates the formative years of the nation’s character." ~ Starred Kirkus Review
“Joel Richard Paul’s Indivisible: Daniel Webster and the Birth of American Nationalism is such an important read, for both the historically inclined and Dartmouth undergraduates… It is an accessible book that paints an absorbing picture of American politics in the antebellum period… Indivisible is a collection of vignette-type stories, stitched together into a thematic but largely chronological history of early American nationalism, in which history Webster regularly appears… an engaging and important work of popular history. I must confess that, in first reading the book, it seemed Webster was less a main character than a supporting player who kept popping up in odd places. However, I now recognize that this is just the point. Indeed, Webster wrought a profound impact on our nation’s self-conception by inspiring an American nationalism, and, in so doing, he helped keep the country united in the first half of the nineteenth century.” ~ Dartmouth Review
Q. Who was Daniel Webster, and why does he matter?
A. Ralph Waldo Emerson called Daniel Webster “the completest man.” Born in New Hampshire during the American Revolution, Webster grew up to be an influential congressman, senator, secretary of state, and presidential candidate and was at the center of American politics from 1812-1852 when the United States was struggling to determine the kind of nation it wanted to be. He fought slavery, Andrew Jackson, and American expansionism. He argued some of the most famous cases before the Supreme Court and earned the reputation as the “defender of the Constitution.” As secretary of state, Webster skillfully averted a third war with Britain. Perhaps most important, Webster was universally acknowledged as the greatest orator of the age, celebrated throughout Europe as well as the United States.
Q. How does Webster’s legacy resonate today?
A. We are living in a time of hostility to democratic values, pluralism, and immigration. Extreme partisanship has paralyzed Congress and infected the Supreme Court, undermining its legitimacy. Webster, too, lived in a deeply polarized time that threatened the Union. Still, he believed in the possibility of finding consensus, and his rhetoric and ideas appealed to Americans’ faith in our nation’s founding. In the process, Webster defined what it meant to be an American.
Q. What did it mean to be an American at the beginning of our republic?
A. The least self-evident truth in our Declaration of Independence were the words, “United States.” People considered themselves Virginians or New Yorkers, not Americans. We were divided by region, ethnicity, faith, and race. Our national identity did not begin to take hold until sometime after the War of 1812, more than three decades after the Declaration was signed.
Q. How did we become “American” then?
A. During the period from 1820 to 1850 competing ideas of American identity were put forth by men like Henry Clay, John Quincy Adams, Nathaniel Hawthorne, John O’Sullivan, Walt Whitman, and Andrew Jackson. Some argued that the land made us American, that we were destined to occupy the whole continent, and that tribal nations were mere obstacles to our development. Others argued that our nation was defined by race, and there was no room for Mexicans or African Americans in a white America. Against this populist, expansionist, and racist argument, Webster popularized the idea that it was the Constitution that made all Americans one nation indivisible, regardless of race, ethnic origin, or faith. While the Union was unraveling, our national identity was taking shape. By the time the Civil War erupted in 1861, Webster’s vision of constitutional nationalism defined Americans.
Q. What’s Daniel Webster’s significance in American history?
A. Webster’s passionate and lifelong defense of the Union shaped the thinking of the men who waged the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln modeled his speeches on Webster’s, and many of his most memorable lines were chosen from Webster. The generation that fought the Civil War were taught in grade school to recite portions of Webster’s speeches extolling the virtue of the Union. Webster’s most famous line, “Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable” inspired the Union’s resolve to defeat the secessionists. Even in civil war,we were now all “Americans.”
Q. What kind of man was Webster?
A. Webster was complicated. He was a brilliant orator, a passionate patriot, and a deeply flawed man. He could speak extemporaneously for hours in prose that was sheer poetry. In an age of great orators, even his rivals admitted that no one was his equal. But Webster had a dark shadow. He lived extravagantly, far beyond his means, and depended on the generosity of wealthy businessmen who in turn relied on him to support tariffs that favored their industries. He was tainted by unfounded gossip and sexual scandal, and in his later years, he drank to excess. After he endorsed the Compromise of 1850, he was vilified by his friends and died a broken man.
Q. Why did Webster’s support for the Compromise of 1850 destroy his political career?
A. Webster was an eloquent and impassioned opponent of slavery and a staunch defender of the Union. In 1850, California sought statehood, but the South did not want to admit another free state to the Union and threatened to secede. Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky approached Senator Webster with a proposed compromise that included the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which would compel the North to return fugitive slaves. Webster was torn between his hatred of slavery and his love of the Union. He understood that endorsing the fugitive slave law would cost him support in New England and end his political career, but his support would be critical to persuading other northern Whig senators to back the compromise. In the end, Webster was persuaded there was no other way to save the Union. His friends and supporters turned against him. Emerson wrote that “the word liberty in the mouth of Mr. Webster sounds like the word love in the mouth of a courtesan.” And John Greenleaf Whittier penned a poem titled “Icarus,” in which he wrote that “When faith is lost when honor dies, The man is dead!”
Q. If there had been no compromise, what would have happened?
A. Without the fugitive slave law, the South would likely have seceded in 1850, it would have fallen to President Millard Fillmore, rather than Lincoln, to defend the Union. Though the Compromise only succeeded in holding the Union together for a decade, during that time three important developments occurred. First, the abolitionist movement gained strength in the North. Second, the North’s armaments industry dramatically outpaced the South assuring that the North would have a military advantage over the South. Third, a whole generation of men who went on to fight the Civil War were indoctrinated in the belief that “Liberty and Union” were inextricably bound together. Webster’s rhetoric forged the resolve to defend the Union. By postponing the Civil War, the Compromise of 1850 likely saved the Union.
Q. How is this book relevant to our present day?
A. Once again issues of race and national identity are dividing us. Finding consensus seems impossible, and the institutions of government are losing legitimacy. Our political leaders are failing the test of whether to put the country before party and their own political ambition. Daniel Webster’s story demonstrates that even in these dark times of division it is possible for people of good faith to find common ground. Webster reminds us that despite our differences, the Constitution made us one nation indivisible.
Without Precedent: Chief Justice John Marshall and His Times
The remarkable story of John Marshall who, as chief justice, statesman, and diplomat, played a pivotal role in the founding of the United States.
No member of America's Founding Generation had a greater impact on the Constitution and the Supreme Court than John Marshall, and no one did more to preserve the delicate unity of the fledgling United States. From the nation's founding in 1776 and for the next forty years, Marshall was at the center of every political battle. As Chief Justice of the United States - the longest-serving in history - he established the independence of the judiciary and the supremacy of the federal Constitution and courts. As the leading Federalist in Virginia, he rivaled his cousin Thomas Jefferson in influence. As a diplomat and secretary of state, he defended American sovereignty against France and Britain, counseled President John Adams, and supervised the construction of the city of Washington. D.C.
This is the astonishing true story of how a rough-cut frontiersman - born in Virginia in 1755 and with little formal education - invented himself as one of the nation's preeminent lawyers and politicians who then reinvented the Constitution to forge a stronger nation. Without Precedent is the engrossing account of the life and times of this exceptional man, who with cunning, imagination, and grace shaped America's future as he held together the Supreme Court, the Constitution, and the country itself.
Praise for Joel Richard Paul’s WITHOUT PRECEDENT
“I would have predicted that there was nothing worth saying about John Marshall that hadn’t already been said. I would’ve been so wrong. In every chapter of this page-turning account of Marshall’s pivotal place in our nation’s history, even the expert will learn something new. How did Joel Paul figure out, for instance, that the great Chief Justice probably suborned perjury on his brother’s part during the bizarre Marbury v. Madison trial? You owe it to yourself to read Joel Paul’s terrific book to find out.” ---- Laurence H. Tribe, Carl M. Loeb University Professor and Professor of Constitutional Law, Harvard Law School
“Who was John Marshall, really? Thousands meet him anew each year solely through his published opinions. But finally, Joel Richard Paul gives us this captivating, indispensable account, painting a fascinating picture of the frontiersman, soldier, illusionist, strategist, diplomat and international lawyer who became not just the man behind Marbury, but so much more.”Harold Hongju Koh, Sterling Professor of International Law and former Dean, Yale Law School
“Anyone interested in the law and our country’s Founders will find this book revealing and enjoyable.” Jill Abramson, former executive editor of the New York Times and co-author, Strange Justice.
"Joel Richard Paul has written a fascinating and deeply authoritative biography of one of the most overlooked but important members of the founding generation. John Marshall was a lawyer, justice, and statesman, who as much as anyone else helped shape the nation's court system and left a lasting imprint on our legal principles – and much more. Here, in Without Precedent, Marshall gets the attention he so justly deserves." Jay Winik, author, The Great Upheaval and 1944
"You don't have to be a constitutional law scholar to enjoy this lively, wonderfully engaging account of the life and times of Chief Justice John Marshall." William Taubman, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Khrushchev: The Man and His Era, and Gorbachev: His Life and Times.
“John Marshall (1755-1835) was no patrician. The eldest of 15 children born to an impoverished Virginia farmer, he had only a few months of formal education but served as a foot soldier at Valley Forge, a commissioner to France during the XYZ Affair, secretary of state to John Adams, and finally chief justice, a post to which Adams appointed him to resist the partisans of incoming president Thomas Jefferson. As Paul (Constitutional and International Law/Univ. of California Hastings Law School; Unlikely Allies: How a Merchant, a Playwright, and a Spy Saved the American Revolution, 2008) notes, Marshall took over a court that "was regarded as nothing more than a constitutional afterthought [with]…few cases, little dignity, and no genuine authority." He bolstered the court's prestige by inventing the majority decision and produced more than 1,000 unanimous decisions during his tenure, a testimony to his skills of persuasion and compromise. Often employing a form of political judo, Marshall expanded the authority of his court and the central government by establishing fundamental constitutional principles like judicial review, taken for granted today but hotly contested in that era, to the impotent rage of his partisan opponents. In his conduct of the 1807 treason trial of Aaron Burr, Marshall infuriated Jefferson but arguably "did more to secure free expression and prevent tyranny than any other court in our history." Much of the story necessarily focuses on abstruse issues in constitutional law, but the author turns this potential narrative problem into a strength by emphasizing the politics and personal stories underlying the court's landmark cases. He cheerfully draws readers into the factual and legal complexities involved, employing an easygoing prose style that neither condescends nor bogs down in legalese. As much as Paul admires Marshall, he doesn't shrink from exposing holes in his reasoning, occasional ethically dodgy procedure, and a sometimes dismayingly amoral approach to the law. A well-informed, perceptive, and absorbing biography of a titan of American history.” -- Kirkus starred review
Paul (Unlikely Allies, 2009) brings to life the turbulent early years of the American Republic through the life of a lesser-known but long-lasting Founding Father. John Marshall was present from the beginning of the Revolution and held many roles before that of chief justice and the last of the great Federalists to serve in the federal government. Paul pays special attention to the intense partisanship and political polarization of the era, especially the feud between Marshall and his cousin Thomas Jefferson. Paul challenges the popular understanding of Marshall as a conservative roadblock and holdover from a bygone ideology at great length, describing the chief justice’s decisions from the beginning of Jefferson’s presidency and well into the administration of Andrew Jackson as central to our modern understanding of law, the political state, and foundation of the economy. This very human story should be of great interest to almost all readers. Well written and drawing on rich primary sources, WITHOUT PRECEDENT lives up to its title and will be an excellent addition to American-history collections. — James Pekoll for Booklist
Christian Science Monitor features WITHOUT PRECEDENT in its round-up of the “Best Books of February 2018,” raving: “Law professor Joel Richard Paul brings exactly the kind of perspective that a legal scholar can best provide to this engaging biography of US Supreme Court Justice John Marshall. The book’s narrative is especially strong when relating the turbulent legal and political infighting of Marshall’s years as chief justice.”
Paul (law, Univ. of California, Hastings Coll. Of the Law; Unlikely Allies) teaches constitutional linens international law, but his passion for history renders this book particularly unique and informative. As promised in the subtitle, this biography portrays Founding Father and Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall (1755-1835) in historical context. Consequently, Marshall’s career as a jurist is but a portion of his life, and here readers gain a larger understanding of the man who played a fundamental role in the formation and early history of our country as well as his myriad roles as soldier, lawyer, politician, statesman, jurist, and husband. Beginning with Marshall’s service under General Washington at Valley Forge during the Revolutionary War and delving into every major facet of his life and career, this eminently readable book provides a comprehensive exploration of Marshall and the culture surrounding him. In addition, Paul explicates Marshall’s major decisions as chief justice, so landmark opinions such as Marbury v. Madison and McCullouch v. Maryland receive appropriate attention and analysis. VERDICT. This masterly work elucidates the indelible imprint that Marshall made on the U.S. Constitution and its subsequent interpretation. Perfect for readers of Jean Edward Smith’s John Marshall: Definer of a Nation – Lynne Maxwell, West Virginia Univ. Coll.of Law Lib., Morgantown, Library Journal Review Feb. 15, 2018.
"In WITHOUT PRECDENT " Joel Richard Paul has crafted a scholarly but highly readable and often entertaining chronicle that embeds Marshall among the leading lights of the nation's founding generation, humanizing him along the way...(Marshall's) lasting achievements are ably served by Mr. Paul's deeply felt and penetrating biography" -- from the Wall Street Journal Feb., 17, 2018 review by Fergus M. Bordewich.
"...engrossing new biography..." -- Weekly Standard February 20, 2018 review by Gerald Russello
"Joel Richard Paul, a professor of constitutional and international law at UC Hastings College of the Law, has added a well-written and admiring biography to the long line of Marshall scholarship. The first sentence of “Without Precedent” establishes the stakes: “None of the founding generation of American leaders had a greater impact on the American Constitution than John Marshall, and no one did more than Marshall to preserve the delicate unity of the fledgling republic.” -- Kate Gailbraith, SF Chronicle, March 7, 2017
Click here to see Joel Richard Paul at the Frances Tavern in New City. Video from CSpan
How a Merchant, a Playwright, and a Spy Saved the American Revolution
UNLIKELY ALLIES is the untold true story of the secret diplomacy that won the American Revolution. In 1775, Benjamin Franklin decides to send Silas Deane—a shopkeeper who has never left Connecticut in his life and can’t speak a word of French—on a secret mission to persuade the French king to arm the Americans. Franklin thinks Deane is such an improbable secret agent that the British spies will never suspect him. Hounded by spies, betrayed by his own colleagues, and besieged by privateers, Deane succeeds with the help of Beaumarchais, a French playwright, and the Chevalier d’Eon, the French ambassador to London. The sexually ambiguous d’Eon, a military hero, French spy, and cross-dresser provides the catalyst that persuades Louis XVI to aid the Americans. Full of political intrigue, betrayal, and espionage, UNLIKELY ALLIES is a bold reinterpretation of the struggle for Independence that exposes the complexity of human motivation and the accidental path of history.
“One of the best books of 2009”
—The Washington Post
“Like it or not, the American Revolution is the gift that keeps on giving. Just when you thought no author could possibly say more on the subject, along comes a book that proves you wrong.
Oftener than not, these books repackage the lives of founding fathers or present the dramatic wartime career of some forgotten white chap relegated to the sidelines by Adams, Jefferson, and Washington. Joel Richard Paul, a professor at the University of California Hastings College of Law, aims higher and achieves something new in Unlikely Allies. …
… Unlikely Allies possesses the menacing atmospherics of an Allen Furst novel, and the intellectual verve for which Furst’s spy thrillers are justly admired. And Paul’s blessedly short chapters and razor-sharp prose make the book an ideal read for a distracted century. That is no small achievement, especially for an author who must balance, as Paul does so brilliantly, character development and historical analysis.
…Paul’s three intertwined lives tell us much about the power of personality, the complexity of human emotions, and as he put it best, “the accidental path of history.”
“…wildly entertaining history … “Unlikely Allies” is a nonfiction account, but it reads like a Monty Python movie… The wonder is, our great country came out of such undignified scheming.”
“The American Revolution was more than Minutemen and declarations. “Unlikely Allies” tells the jaw-dropping story of three remarkable but flawed players in our nation’s founding.
… this is solid, groundbreaking history, well researched and with a narrative arc that guides you through the labyrinths of Louis XV’s court, colonial insurrections and British intransigence.”
—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Paul’s fast-paced, engaging narrative fills a gap in the historiography of the American Revolution and is essential reading for students of revolutionary diplomacy as well as general devotees of the age.”
“A rip-roaring account of the American Revolution, told from a fresh, and undeniably offbeat, perspective.”
“A tantalizing review of early American foreign policy.”
“Here comes rebel Joel Richard Paul, a professor of international and constitutional law, wieldingUnlikely Allies, a shadier version of the forging of the French-American alliance without which the United States might not exist.”
“Paul gleefully unfurl his story like a suspense thriller, dropping hints, angling cliffhangers,…Unlikely Allies is quick and fun, offering up a fresh take on a period which needs a little shaking up.”
—Sacramento Book Review, Mar 10, 2010
“Unlikely Allies is an astonishing look at the sometimes seedy side of our country’s founding-a side in which a good man doing an impossible job would be painted with the brush of “traitor,” losing his fortune, his family, his sacred honor and at last his life in service to the land he loved. Paul tells the story with the skill of a novelist, crafting a compelling tale with engaging characters, intriguing twists and a surprise ending, without having to make anything up. Now that is history!”
“An engaging and entertaining account of three of the most colorful characters involved in the American Revolution. It is hard to believe that their story is true, but it is.”
—Gordon Wood, Pulitzer Prize winner, The Radicalism of the American Revolution, and Professor Emeritus, Brown University.
“Ever tire of worshipful accounts of the Founding Fathers’ wisdom and fortitude? Then try this wonderful book about how an American businessman and two Frenchmen, a dramatist and a cross-dressing spy, came to their aid. A rollicking romp as well as a serious history, it reminds us of the role of duplicity, hypocrisy and corruption, and of human frailty and chance, in safeguarding the American Revolution.”
—William Taubman, Pulitzer Prize winner, Khrushchev: The Man and His Era, and Bertrand Snell Professor of Political Science, Amherst College
“Unlikely Allies is an amazing story compellingly told. I kept turning the pages in eagerness to find out what would happen next. Conspiracies abounded, and hardly anyone was what he or she seemed. If the eighteenth century in Europe was an era of Enlightenment, it was also an Age of Deception. Yet, thanks to Joel Paul’s sympathetic portrayal, Silas Deane emerges as an unsung hero of the American Revolution.”
—Robert Gross, Bancroft Prize winner, The Minutemen and their World and James L. and Shirley A. Draper Professor of Early American History, University of Connecticut
“Rollicking and surprising, this is history as it really happened—as it was made by all-too-human actors. Unlikely Allies is a lively read and an important counterpoint to Founder hagiography.”
—Evan Thomas, bestselling author, Sea of Thunder: Four Naval Commanders and the Last Sea War, and Assistant Managing Editor of Newsweek.