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“An upbeat biography of the great French American patriot who channeled his zeal into a formidable force of leadership. This accessible life of Lafayette ably captures his essential fiery-eyed idealism…An inspiring introduction to the beloved general.”—Kirkus
"[Leepson's] eye for the telling detail and his devotion to journalistic brevity shine in all his work, and his affectionate Lafayette is the latest example." — Richmond Times-Dispatch
"A crisp, new life of Lafayette with the emphasis on his life as a military man." —The Washington Independent Review of Books
"If you didn't know this was a biography, you'd think it was an action adventure novel with the Marquis de Lafayette as the superhero. The remarkable and complex life of Lafayette is in good hands with Marc Leepson, an excellent historian and a superb writer."—Nelson DeMille
"There have been countless biographies of the famed Marquis de Lafayette, but what has been lacking is a concise account of the life of this man who played a crucial role in both the American and French Revolutions. Marc Leepson has provided such an account in this fascinating, insightful book."—Chris Wallace, host of "FOX News Sunday"
"Born and trained to command, eager for glory, and dedicated to the cause of liberty, the Marquis de Lafayette fought with Washington's army from Brandywine to Yorktown – then suffered exile and imprisonment for his responsible leadership in France from the Bastille to the eve of the Reign of Terror. Marc Leepson’s fast-paced biography delivers proven lessons in leadership as it brings the Hero of Two Worlds to life."–Jon Kukla, author of Mr. Jefferson’s Women and A Wilderness So Immense: The Louisiana Purchase and the Destiny of America
An upbeat biography of the great French American patriot who channeled his zeal into a formidable force of leadership.
Part of the new World Generals series featuring abbreviated careers of famous military leaders (Rommel, Alexander the Great, Ataturk, etc.) and their winning strategies, this accessible life of Lafayette (1757–1834) ably captures his essential fiery-eyed idealism, which might have led him to impetuousness had he not learned pragmatic lessons while on the battlefields of the American Revolution. In defiance of his family, Lafayette appeared on American shores at the age of 19. Leepson (Desperate Engagement: How a Little-Known Civil War Battle Saved Washington, D.C., and Changed American History, 2007, etc.) emphasizes his subject's empathy for the American cause as stemming from his own father's early death at the hands of the British during the Seven Years' War. Moreover, Lafayette had never fit in comfortably at the French court, and he was steeped in the writings of the Enlightenment authors. Although the Americans had no love for the French, they were won over by Lafayette, who spent freely, always advocated for the provisions of his men, kept his cool under fire and was able to rally the spirit of his men. Above all, he was utterly loyal to George Washington, whom he considered a father figure, and accepted his commands, even when they didn't suit the younger general's eagerness. He was especially invaluable to the Revolutionary War effort by lobbying inexhaustibly—American officials and French government alike. Afterward, of course, he conveyed his patriotic ideals to the French Revolution, and even preached restraint during the bloody crisis, as well as during the July Revolution of 1830 in France, when Lafayette "prevented things from devolving into chaos and anarchy." Leepson glances workmanlike over his later career.
An inspiring introduction to the beloved general.