Lafayette

Lafayette

by Harlow Giles Unger
     
 

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Acclaim for the prizewinning* Lafayette

"I found Mr. Unger’s book exceptionally well done. It’s an admirable account of the marquis’s two revolutions–one might even say his two lives–the French and the American. It also captures the private Lafayette and his remarkable wife, Adrienne, in often moving detail."
–Thomas

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Overview

Acclaim for the prizewinning* Lafayette

"I found Mr. Unger’s book exceptionally well done. It’s an admirable account of the marquis’s two revolutions–one might even say his two lives–the French and the American. It also captures the private Lafayette and his remarkable wife, Adrienne, in often moving detail."
–Thomas Fleming, author, Liberty!: The American Revolution

"To American readers Unger’s biography will provide a stark reminder of just how near run a thing was our War of Independence and the degree to which our forefathers’ victory hinged on the help of our French allies, marshalled for George Washington by his ‘adopted’ son, Lafayette."
–Larry Collins, coauthor, Is Paris Burning? and O Jerusalem!

"Harlow Unger has cornered the market on muses to emerge as America’s most readable historian. His new biography of the marquis de Lafayette combines a thoroughgoing account of the age of revolution, a probing psychological study of a complex man, and a literary style that goes down like cream."
–Florence King, Contributing Editor, National Review

*Selected as Best Book of 2002 by both the American Revolution Round Table of New York and the Fraunces Tavern Museum

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Editorial Reviews

Florence King
Harlow Unger has cornered the market on muses to emerge as America's most readable historian. His new biography of the marquis de Lafayette combines a thoroughgoing account of the age of revolution, a probing psychological study of a complex man, and a literary style that goes down like cream.
National Review
Library Journal
Appearing at a time when there is a new wave of interest in America's Founding Fathers, this well-written and well-researched biography should appeal to traditional political historians and informed lay readers alike. The author, a journalist and biographer, makes no secret of his great admiration for Lafayette, whom he presents as a "gallant knight" and true believer in American republican and constitutional ideals. Critical of historiographical interpretations that have painted Lafayette in either a romanticized or a cynical way, Unger aims to recount objectively the Frenchman's contributions to the great events of his age the American War of Independence and the French Revolutions of 1789 and 1830. The first biography of Lafayette to appear in almost 20 years, this text is noteworthy for the attention it gives to Lafayette's personal friendship with George Washington and for its careful reconstruction of the role Lafayette played in diplomatic and economic issues of importance to the fledgling American nation. Unger implies that Lafayette's "distaste for political leadership" and his consistent rejection of both political and military power may have played a role in allowing "madmen and fanatics" like Robespierre to rise to power. Although his biases against the French radical republicans are clear, Unger has succeeded in his goal of restoring Lafayette to his rightful place in Western political history. For all libraries. Marie Marmo Mullaney, Caldwell Coll., NJ
From the Publisher
* Appearing at a time when there is a new wave of interest in America's Founding Fathers, this well-written and well-researched biography should appeal to traditional political historians and informed lay readers alike. The author, a journalist and biographer, makes no secret of his great admiration for Lafayette, whom he presents as a "gallant knight" and true believer in American republican and constitutional ideals. Critical of historiographical interpretations that have painted Lafayette in either a romanticized or a cynical way, Unger aims to recount objectively the Frenchman's contributions to the great events of his age-the American War of Independence and the French Revolutions of 1789 and 1830. The first biography of Lafayette to appear in almost 20 years, this text is noteworthy for the attention it gives to Lafayette's personal friendship with George Washington and for its careful reconstruction of the role Lafayette played in diplomatic and economic issues of importance to the fledgling American nation. Unger implies that Lafayette's "distaste for political leadership" and his consistent rejection of both political and military power may have played a role in allowing "madmen and fanaticslike Robespierre to rise to power. Although his biases against the French radical republicans are clear, Unger has succeeded in his goal of restoring Lafayette to his rightful place in Western political history. For all libraries. —Marie Marmo (Library Journal, August 2002)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780471468851
Publisher:
Turner Publishing Company
Publication date:
10/31/2003
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
480
Sales rank:
181,956
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

HARLOW GILES UNGER is the author of Noah Webster and John Hancock (both from Wiley). A veteran journalist, he was a foreign news editor at the New York Herald Tribune Overseas Service and a foreign correspondent for the Times and the Sunday Times (London). The author of eight books on American education, he lives in New York City and Paris, France.

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