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The Secret Life and Times
of Israel Potter
by David Chacko and
About this Book
Beggarman, Spy takes you into a world where biography is history, and both are filled with lies. Truth is stranger than fiction, but what
happens when the truth is fiction?
An old soldier told his life story to a writer. It is one of the most
famous of the American Revolutionary periodor any otherbut what is revealed in Beggarman, Spy will change the way we look at everything we thought we knew.
Who was the man called Israel Potter? Is that even his real name? Is his story really his, or is it what he wanted us to know? Is the truth a scandal that was never really known, but can be now?
Yes, it is. Read on.
About the Authors
David Chacko is the author of twenty-two critically acclaimed novels in the mystery and espionage genres.
Beggarman, Spy, is nonfiction.
Alexander Kulcsar is an actor, dramatist, video producer, and
freelance writer specializing in American History. He lives in
Feel free to use all or part of the following, and edit to suit. This content was prepared for your use. We ask no acknowledgement of any kind.
Israel Potter's story has been told four times, the last by the current authors, David Chacko and Alexander Kulcsar, in two well-received novelsGone Over and The Brimstone Papers. Beggarman, Spy, the third installment, is "nonfiction" and equally impressive.
Beggarman, Spy retells the facts of "one of the strangest stories ever made known." Though Herman Melville, as well as Chacko and Kulcsar, made the story a basis for fiction, no one ever examined the biography to verify its sensational claims. That mistake has now been corrected.
The authors turn a hard eye on Potter's words from the first sentence of his book, which states three lies as facts. This is "forensic" history, and it includes looking at everyone around Potter. His biographer Henry Trumbull, for example, was a man as much at home churning out pornography as sermons.
Not our idea of a founding father? They're here, too, from Washington to Franklin, from sex-addled Quakers to money-driven Pilgrims. All had a part in making Potter's life less a mad-cap adventure than a weird tragedy. As these characters turn the wheel of Potter's fate, we gain a view of the times that has seldom been shown.
Did the captain of Potter's ship make his bones as a slave trader? Did Trumbull burn down the home of one of his subjects to create a bestseller? Did the most incredible of Potter's adventureshis mission to Franklin in Parisactually take place?
Yes, but how it happened is where Beggarman, Spy excels. The authors rarely trust accepted accounts. By digging deeper, they produce many surprises. When surprise turns to coincidence, they explore those, too.
The book closes with a look at Melville set against the homecoming of Potter. It's the tale of an exileor twoand the blood ties that define their lives. The way blood ties intertwine are the most important theme in the book.
What happened when the wife of Benedict Arnold took a strapping young stone mason into the house? Did the richest man in America really begin his fortune by drowning a slave?
See Beggarman, Spy for the answers.
Beggarman, Spy was published by Foremost Press. It can be ordered through local bookstores and at ForemostPress.com, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.com.
ISBN 10: 1-936154-44-7
270 pp, $16.97