Lafayette in the Somewhat United States
On Sale: October 20, 2015
Featuring: Marquis de Lafayette; George Washington
Hardcover / e-Book
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Non-Fiction History | Non-Fiction Biography
From the bestselling author of Assassination
Vacation and The Partly Cloudy Patriot, an
insightful and unconventional account of George Washingtonâ€™s
trusted officer and friend, that swashbuckling teenage
French aristocrat the Marquis de Lafayette.
Chronicling General Lafayetteâ€™s years in Washingtonâ€™s army,
Vowell reflects on the ideals of the American Revolution
versus the reality of the Revolutionary War. Riding shotgun
with Lafayette, Vowell swerves from the high-minded debates
of Independence Hall to the frozen wasteland of Valley
Forge, from bloody battlefields to the Palace of Versailles,
bumping into John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Lord Cornwallis,
Benjamin Franklin, Marie Antoinette and various kings,
Quakers and redcoats along the way.
Drawn to the patriotsâ€™ war out of a lust for glory,
Enlightenment ideas and the traditional French hatred for
the British, young Lafayette crossed the Atlantic expecting
to join forces with an undivided people, encountering
instead fault lines between the Continental Congress and the
Continental Army, rebel and loyalist inhabitants, and a
conspiracy to fire George Washington, the one man holding
together the rickety, seemingly doomed patriot
While Vowellâ€™s yarn is full of the bickering and infighting
that marks the American pastâ€”and presentâ€”her telling of the
Revolution is just as much a story of friendship: between
Washington and Lafayette, between the Americans and their
French allies and, most of all between Lafayette and the
American people. Coinciding with one of the most
contentious presidential elections in American history,
Vowell lingers over the elderly Lafayetteâ€™s sentimental
return tour of America in 1824, when three fourths of the
population of New York City turned out to welcome him
ashore. As a Frenchman and the last surviving general of
the Continental Army, Lafayette belonged to neither North
nor South, to no political party or faction. He was a
walking, talking reminder of the sacrifices and bravery of
the revolutionary generation and what the founders hoped
this country could be. His return was not just a reunion
with his beloved Americans it was a reunion for Americans
with their own astonishing, singular past.
Vowellâ€™s narrative look at our somewhat united states is
humorous, irreverent and wholly original.
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