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"The Wisdom of the Flock" by Steve M. Gnatz - Blog Tour and Book Review

Author Bio

Steve Gnatz is a writer, physician, bicyclist, photographer, traveler, and aspiring ukulele player. The son of a history professor and a nurse, it seems that both medicine and history are in his blood. Writing historical fiction came naturally. An undergraduate degree in biology was complemented by a minor in classics. After completing medical school, he embarked on an academic medical career specializing in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. There was little time for writing during those years, other than research papers and a technical primer on electromyography. Now retired from the practice of medicine, he devotes himself to the craft of fiction. The history of science is of particular interest, but also the dynamics of human relationships. People want to be good scientists, but sometimes human nature gets in the way. That makes for interesting stories. When not writing or traveling, he enjoys restoring Italian racing bicycles at home in Chicago with his wife and daughters.

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Book Title: The Wisdom of the Flock: Franklin and Mesmer in Paris

Author: Steve M. Gnatz

Publication Date: November 2020

Publisher: Leather Apron Press

Page Length: 541 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Book Trailer:


1776: Benjamin Franklin sails to Paris, carrying a copy of the Declaration of Independence, freshly signed. His charge: gain the support of France for the unfolding American Revolution. Yet Paris is a city of distractions. Ben’s lover, Marianne Davies, will soon arrive, and he yearns to rekindle his affair with the beautiful musician. Dr. Franz Mesmer has plans for Marianne too. He has taken Parisian nobility by storm with his discovery of magnétisme animale, a mysterious force claimed to heal the sick. Marianne’s ability to channel Mesmer’s phenomena is key to his success.

A skeptical King Louis XVI appoints Ben to head a commission investigating the astonishing magnétisme animale. By nature, Ben requires proof. Can he scientifically prove that it does not exist? Mesmer will stop at nothing to protect his profitable claim.

The Wisdom of The Flock explores the conflict between science and mysticism in a time rife with revolution, love, spies, and passion.

Trigger Warnings:

Mild sexual content

Book Review

Straightaway, I must say this is quite an interesting read. Even as an American, knowing a bit about the history of Benjamin Franklin, this story took me by surprise and I realized how little I really knew about this founding father. This book is a perfect example of developing a story idea into quality historical fiction based on perhaps an obscure fact about a historical person. Who knew that Franklin, while in Paris, was such a ladies' man even at 70 years old? Or that he had dealings with the infamous Mesmer, the man who birthed the word 'mesmerize' to our English language; or with Marie Antoinette? I appreciated that the author approached this book as pure speculation from the outset, but I think he did a great job in developing Franklin and Mesmer's relationship and conflicts in a very believable way. Plus, with the additions of such intriguing women such as Marianne Davies, and Milette (Madame Helvetius), as well as the encounters with the Queen of France, added a romantic and, at times, a scandalous nature to the book. All in all, this was a great read, and worthy of recommendation to anyone interested in the backstory of a remarkable man whose historic quotes, pamphlets, books, and revolutionary ideas brought about the United States of America - a historical life which might raise an eyebrow!!

Dee Marley - The Hist Fic Chickie (Review for The Coffee Pot Book Club)

Buy Links:

Available on Kindle Unlimited.



Mary Anne Yarde
Mary Anne Yarde
Sep 17, 2021

I am so glad you enjoyed The Wisdom of the Flock. Thank you so much for hosting today's tour stop. We really appreciate all that you do.

Mary Anne

The Coffee Pot Book Club


Sep 17, 2021

Thanks for hosting this stop on The Wisdom of the Flock blog tour. I am glad that you enjoyed the book and hope that your readers will as well!

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