Alternate Tagline for Hero of Two Worlds:
I thought there would be more rap battles.
The fascinating life story of The Marquis de Lafayette.
Fun Fact Non-History People Will Like:
The Marquis de Lafayette was childhood friends with King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette; he had a surrogate father/son relationship with George Washington; and he personally knew Napoleon Bonaparte.
Fun Fact for History Nerds:
The Marquis de Lafayette was only 19 years old when he left France to fight in the new world against the explicit orders of King Louis XVI.
My Take on Hero of Two Worlds: The Marquis de Lafayette in the Age of Revolution:
Before reading Hero of Two Worlds: The Marquis de Lafayette in the Age of Revolution, almost everything I knew about Lafayette came from the Broadway Musical, Hamilton. Don’t get me wrong, Daveed Diggs does a great job rapping a history lesson when he describes Lafayette executing Washington’s strategy against the British saying:
“Watch me engagin’ em!
Or his role in securing France’s support for the war when he rhymed:
“I go to France for more funds
I come back with more
And so the balance shifts.”
That said, I think Lin-Manuel Miranda’s next hit musical should have Lafayette as the lead character.
Lafayette’s life spanned multiple geo-political environments. He was born and came of age as a French nobleman who was schoolmates with King Louis XVI; he fought alongside America’s founding fathers during the American Revolution; he survived the Reign of Terror after stoking the flames of the French Revolution; and he openly criticized Napoleon as a despot. Throughout all of this, Lafayette, against his own self interest as a privileged nobleman, idealistically fought for the republican virtues of liberty and self governance.
I absolutely loved the book. The author, Mike Duncan, moved to France to immerse himself in Lafayette’s world to write the book and his narrative of Lafayette’s role in one of the most influential eras in modern history is second to none. I found Hero of Two Worlds: The Marquis de Lafayette in the Age of Revolution to be a captivating page turner. I genuinely enjoyed it so much that I bought copies for friends and family members.
Read it and read it again! Buy it here!
If You Liked This Try:
- Ron Chernow, Hamilton and Washington
- Robert Massie, Catherine the Great
- Andrew Roberts, Napoleon
- Kirstin Downey, Isabella