At the dawn of the nineteenth century, President Thomas Jefferson dispatched Robert Livingston and James Monroe to negotiate with the temperamental French dictator Napoleon Bonaparte. Originally charged with only securing the Port of New Orleans and access to the Mississippi River, they soon were presented with the deal of a lifetime—the purchase of the whole Louisiana Territory. With no time to contact the president, they had to make the decision themselves. What would you do if faced with the same decision? Author Elaine Landau poses this and other exciting questions to the reader in this lively account of the Louisiana Purchase.