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Meet the Author: Tom Shachtman

  • All levels
  • 18 and older
  • Free
  • Earn 10% Rewards
  • Price Lock
  • 60 W Walton St, Chicago, IL
  • 90 minutes

Start Dates (0)

  • Free
  • 90 minutes
  • Class Location: Ruggles Hall
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Class Description


What you'll learn in this literature class:

This is a one time FREE course.

Meet the Author: Tom Shachtman, How the French Saved America

Americans today have a love/hate relationship with France, but in this illuminating new history, Tom Shachtman shows that without France, there might not be a United States of America. How the French Saved America: Soldiers, Sailors, Diplomats, Louis XVI, and the Success of a Revolution is about French aid to Americans during the American Revolution. To the rebelling colonies, French assistance made the difference between looming defeat and eventual triumph. Even before the Declaration of Independence was issued, King Louis XVI and French foreign minister Vergennes were aiding the rebels. After the Declaration, that assistance broadened to include wages for our troops; guns, cannon, and ammunition; engineering expertise that enabled victories and prevented defeats; diplomatic recognition when no other country would give it; safe havens for privateers; battlefield leadership by veteran officers; and the army and fleet that made possible the Franco-American victory at Yorktown.

Nearly ten percent of those who fought and died for the American cause were French. Those who fought and survived, in addition to the well-known Lafayette and Rochambeau, include François de Fleury, who won a Congressional Medal for valor, Louis Duportail, who founded the Army Corps of Engineers, and Admiral de Grasse, whose sea victory sealed the fate of Yorktown. In How the French Saved America, Tom Shachtman vividly captures the individual characters of our European brothers and the monumental role they played in America’s fight for independence and democracy.

After his talk, Mr. Shachtman will sign copies of the book in the Newberry lobby. How the French Saved America will be available for purchase in the Newberry Bookstore. Your purchase helps to support the Newberry Library and this program’s featured author.

Refund Policy

Requests for refunds must be received in writing. To request a refund, email us at [email protected].

  • For single- and two-session seminars, tuition (less 10% processing fee) is refundable until 2 business day before the seminar begins.
  • For seminars meeting more than twice, tuition (less 10% processing fee) is refundable until 2 business day prior to the second class meeting; we cannot give a refund once the seminar has met a second time.
After this the class has met (for the second time in a longer course) we pay our instructors and do not give any refunds. We do not offer letters of credit.

If the seminar fails to reach a minimum of seven registrations before the early registration deadline (one week before the first day of the term), the seminar will be canceled and all participants will be refunded less a 5% non-refundable registration fee. The instructor is required to teach the seminar if it reaches seven registrations prior to the early registration deadline. In some cases, a seminar may be offered with fewer than seven registrations at the option of the instructor.

Reviews of Classes at The Newberry (4)

(4.8-star rating across 4 reviews)
  • Meet the Author: Tom Shachtman

    Reviewed by Sujung C. on 10/18/2017
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The Newberry

The Newberry is home to a world-class collection of books, manuscripts, maps, music, and other handmade and printed materials related to the history and culture of Western Europe and the Americas. The collections span many centuries and feature items such as illuminated medieval manuscripts, rare early...

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The Newberry

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