I must admit straight away.....I had to put this book down about 60% through out of sheer fatigue. This is my second effort with Ms. Schiff (the other: Cleopatra) and as before I find her work ponderous and labyrinthine. She does have genius for a turn of phrase --weaving in a reference to Strunk and White, for example-- but these flares of wit are far too few for the volume of pages she produces. She needs a really omnivorous editor to follow her around where ever she writes and make a hearty meal of words to reduce this work to something considerably more digestible to the more casual reader.
Nonetheless, she does help us appreciate the intrigues of European politics during the American revolution, and my regard for Franklin grows more due to her portrayal. And she adds a factor about Franklin's tenure in Paris that our history books seem to disregard.....to wit, Voltaire's return to Paris in early 1778, and Franklin's shrewd use of the atmosphere these two men create in the salons, and the politics, of France.