This introduction to the diplomacy of the American Revolution presents a fresh, realistic, and balanced portrait of revolutionary diplomats and diplomacy.
This book certainly will become the new standard account of the subject, though it does not entirely supersede Samuel Flagg Bemis's The Diplomacy of the American Revolution (1957). Bemis gave more attention to such topics as neutral shipping, Newfoundland fishing, and western boundaries; Dull devotes more space to diplomatic events in Europe. In particular, Dull indicates how French fear of Russian and Austrian expansion at the expense of the Ottoman Empire was a factor in the final peace negotiations of the American Revolution. He also views Dutch and Spanish aid as more important for the American cause than did Bemis, and Dull's treatment of French foreign minister Vergennes is much more favorable. The book's many footnotes and its annotated bibliography provide a rich survey of research in the field. Specialists as well as students should profit from this work. Highly recommended for public and university libraries. Thomas J. Schaeper, History Dept., St. Bonaventure Univ., N.Y.