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Larrie Ferreiro, Brothers at Arms: American Independence and the Men of France and Spain Who Saved It

Author Larrie Ferreiro visits the Museum & Library to discuss his book which recasts the American Revolution in a revealing new light.

A Pulitzer Prize Finalist in History and Winner of the Journal of the American Revolution 2016 Book of the Year Award, this remarkable untold story of how the American Revolution's success depended on substantial military assistance provided by France and Spain, and places the Revolution in the context of the global strategic interests of those nations in their fight against England. 

In this groundbreaking, revisionist history, Larrie Ferreiro shows that at the time the first shots were fired at Lexington and Concord the colonists had little chance, if any, of militarily defeating the British. The nascent American nation had no navy, little in the way of artillery, and a militia bereft even of gunpowder. In his detailed accounts Ferreiro shows that without the extensive military and financial support of the French and Spanish, the American cause would never have succeeded. France and Spain provided close to the equivalent of $30 billion and 90 percent of all guns used by the Americans, and they sent soldiers and sailors by the thousands to fight and die alongside the Americans, as well as around the world.  

Ferreiro adds to the historical records the names of French and Spanish diplomats, merchants, soldiers, and sailors whose contribution is at last given recognition. Instead of viewing the American Revolution in isolation, Brothers at Arms reveals the birth of the American nation as the centerpiece of an international coalition fighting against a common enemy.

LARRIE D. FERREIRO received his PhD in the History of Science and Technology from Imperial College London. He teaches history and engineering at George Mason University in Virginia and the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey. He has served for over thirty-five years in the US Navy, US Coast Guard and Department of Defense, and was an exchange engineer in the French Navy. He is the author of Measure of the Earth: The Enlightenment Expedition That Reshaped Our World and Ships and Science: The Birth of Naval Architecture in the Scientific Revolution, 1600-1800. He lives with his wife and their sons in Virginia.