Jefferson's Great Gamble: The Remarkable Story of Jefferson, Napoleon and the Men behind the Louisiana Purchase

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Sourcebooks, Inc., Mar 1, 2004 - History - 328 pages

A New York Times Bestseller! The fascinating story of how four great men fought for the Louisiana Purchase, changing the future of our nation.

Jefferson's Great Gamble tells the incredible story of how four leaders of an upstart nation—Jefferson, Madison, Monroe and Livingston—risked the future of their country and their own careers; outwitted Napoleon Bonaparte, the world's most powerful ruler; and secured a new future for the United States of America.

For two years before the Louisiana Purchase, the nine principal players in the deal watched France and the United States approach the brink of war over the most coveted spot on the planet: a bustling port known as New Orleans. And until the breakthrough moment when a deal was secured, the men who steered their countries through the tense and often beguiling negotiations knew only that the futures of both nations were at stake.

Jefferson's Great Gamble is an extraordinary work that redefines one of the most important and overlooked events in American history. To read Jefferson's Great Gamble is to experience the tense days and nights leading to a decision that changed the face of the world. From the early American infighting to the heated French negotiations to the battle needed years later to secure the purchase, this new history is a story of dedicated men, each driven by love of country, who created an event that Robert Livingston called "the noblest work of our lives."

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - VictoriaJZ - LibraryThing

I really enjoyed this look at the background and machinations behind the Louisiana Purchase. My knowledge had been limited to Thomas Jefferson's part in it, so I was intrigued by Madison and Monroe's ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ShaneTierney - LibraryThing

There's a lot wrong with this book as a work of history. Cerami speculates a lot, especially in the first half, about the thoughts and feelings of his subjects--speculation based upon his impressions ... Read full review

Contents

Toward the Great River
1
Friendly France Threatens America
23
The Fateful Island
45
One Spot on the Globe
55
The Mistrusted Envoy
73
Napoleans Odd Couple
91
Confusing Bonaparte
111
The Du Pont Way
133
Monroes Historic Decision
191
The Moment in History
201
The Senates Pretended Reluctance
207
The Antagonists Move On
219
A Territory on the Move
245
The Long Sequel
261
Notes
279
Bibliography
299

An Extraordinary Minister
145
Waiting for Monroe
153
Agonizing Moments
167
The Tremulous Pause
179
Index
303
About the Author
310
Back Cover
311
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Charles A. Cerami is the author of eleven books, including Benjamin Banneker: Surveyor, Astronomer, Publisher, Patriot and A Marshall Plan for the 1990s. Cerami's articles have been published in The Atlantic Monthly, Playboy, New York Times, Foreign Policy, The Spectator (of London) and Swiss Review of World Affairs.