Current Events & History

François Furstenberg describes the inspiration behind When the United States Spoke French

When the United States Spoke French

When Furstenberg, an American francophone academic, started to research the lives of Frenchmen expatriates in America, he found that the cultures and politics were much more entwined and complicated than they seem at first. 

What I thought would be a simple book about a few émigrés in Philadelphia, and about the connections between the French and American Revolutions, quickly mushroomed into something much bigger. It became clear to me that the relationship between France and the United States in the 1790s could not be understood without reference to the larger Atlantic World – to imperial conflict between France and Britain, and to the economic centrality of the Caribbean to everyone.


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