Five Men Fled the French Revolution - and Ended Up Shaping America

Francois Furstenberg

In 1789, as the French Revolution shook Europe, the new United States was struggling for survival in the face of financial insolvency and bitter political and regional divisions. Five Frenchmen who’d been among the leaders of the French Revolution sought refuge in America, a country they idealized because it seemed to be an embodiment of the Enlightenment ideals they celebrated. Francois Furstenberg writes about the Frenchmen’s American adventures, as they adapted to American life and eventually became enmeshed in Franco-American diplomacy. His book When the United States Spoke French: Five Refugees Who Shaped a Nation explores the tumultuous first years of the United States and looks at how these men helped shape American history.