The principals involved in the Louisiana Purchase, the hapless greats of both France and America, receive post mortem pummeling in this straight-armed, glassy-eyed historical novel. Fictional Andrew MacCullough is the omnipresent meddlesome hero, jailed in New Orleans under both Spanish and French regimes, courting two ladies, finally attempting to stave off a violent attack by over 2000 frontiersmen on the city before the news of the Purchase seeps through. MacCullough does a bit of spying, however, and is present while President Jefferson and Secretary Madison jabber away about the wisdom of threatening the French. Andrew misses out on some Napoleon-Talleyrand routines, although the reader is unduly favored. Seems that the massing of the frontiersmen poked Napoleon to proposing the Purchase? Memorable words from State Department official Hillery: ""When I see the men in charge of the War Department these days...I sometimes wonder how we won the Revolution,"" is a pertinent query indeed. Louisiana Purchase sold short.