Unlikely Allies: How a Merchant, a Playwright, and a Spy Saved the American Revolution


An Interview with Joel Richard Paul ’77 and Professor William Taubman

When we set the founding fathers on a pedestal we fail to appreciate the fact that these were real men with real human frailties and that they had to overcome their own weaknesses to found a nation. I think the founding fathers were extraordinary, but they were not always as worthy as the cause they fought for. I don't think our revolution succeeded because we were led by extraordinary men but because the men who did lead us rose to the challenge.  My hope is that my book will empower people to believe they can make a difference even if they aren't so extraordinary.”


Amherst%20Reads%20March%20Audio%202011An Interview with Joel Richard Paul ’77 and Professor William Taubman
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Professor Taubman
William (Bill) Taubman
is the Bertrand Snell Professor of Political Science at Amherst College. He received his B.A from Harvard University in 1962 and his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1969.  Among his many publications, Taubman is the author of Khrushchev: The Man and His Era (New York: W.W. Norton, March 2003), for which he won the Pulitzer Prize in biography in 2004 and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography in 2003.  Khrushchev has been translated into Russian, Spanish, Latvian, Chinese, Polish, Czech, Lithuanian, Estonian, Swedish; Co-editor (with Sergei Khrushchev and Abbott Gleason), Nikita Khrushchev (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000); and editor and translator, Khrushchev on Khrushchev, by Sergei N. Khrushchev (Boston: Little, Brown, 1990). He was also the recipient of a 2006 Guggenheim fellowship.