Revolutionary Brothers: Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis de Lafayette, and the Friendship that Helped Forge Two Nations

St. Martin’s. Nov. 2019. 544p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781250113726. $29.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250113740. HIST
Chaffin (Giant’s Causeway)has produced a comprehensive history of a long, mutually rewarding friendship. Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette first met in 1781, when the glory-hungry young Lafayette was dispatched from France to Virginia to assist Jefferson in efforts to oust the British. Three years later, Jefferson was in Paris on diplomatic business. Speaking little French, he relied on Lafayette for contacts in order to help the fledgling republic. Over the next years, mutual respect became real friendship. Assistance was reciprocal: Jefferson counseled Lafayette in drafting what would become the Declaration of the Rights of Man. Lafayette was soon on the wrong side of the Revolution; fleeing France, he was captured and spent years as a prisoner in Austria and Prussia. Jefferson’s intervention helped set him free, but it would not be until Lafayette’s 1824 tour of the young country he fought for decades earlier that the two friends would meet again.
VERDICT This exceedingly well-written chronicle will please all history lovers.
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