It was Benjamin Franklin's kite, to be sure. The argument goes this way: because Franklin explored the mysteries of newly discovered electricity to its natural sources, the American colonies stepped into the world of science; subsequently, Franklin was in a position to pull the proper strings as our representative abroad and to persuade the French to back our Revolution. Thus, the kite won the Revolution. The route through the story becomes rather involved as reader attention is shifted from first steps in science to the significance of the Revolution and the establishment of representative democracy in relation to the Age of Reason. The author's erudition is present as is usual. The approach, while original, has the overall effect of bits and pieces, rather than an integrated whole.