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

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

In a narrative both panoramic and intimate, Tom Chaffin captures the four-decade friendship of Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette.

The bond linking Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette constituted a singularly extraordinary friendship, one which played a key role in the making of two revolutions—and two nations. The author of the Declaration of Independence first met Lafayette in 1781, when the young French-born general was dispatched to Virginia to assist Jefferson, then the governor, in fighting off the British. The charismatic Lafayette, hungry for glory on the battlefield, could not have seemed more different from Jefferson, the reserved and philosophical statesman. But when Jefferson, a newly-appointed diplomat, moved to Paris three years later, speaking little French and in need of a diplomatic partner, their friendship began in earnest.

As Lafayette opened doors in Paris and Versailles for the neophyte emissary, so too did Jefferson stand by Lafayette as the Frenchman became inexorably drawn into the maelstrom of his country's revolution. The Virginian offered counsel to the young aristocrat as he drafted The Declaration of the Rights of Man and remained a firm supporter of the French Revolution, even after he returned to America in 1789. But Jefferson soon learned that the French Revolution's excesses had led to the persecution of Lafayette and his family. By 1792, the upheaval had rendered him a man without a country, locked away in a succession of Austrian and Prussian prisons. The burden fell on Jefferson—and Lafayette's other friends, including Alexander Hamilton's sister-in-law Angelica Schuyler Church —to win his release. The two would not see each other again until 1824, in a powerful and emotional reunion at Jefferson’s Monticello.

Steeped in primary sources, Revolutionary Brothers casts fresh light on this remarkable, often complicated, friendship of two extraordinary men.

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

  • Louise

    I picked this up to learn about the Jefferson-Lafayette friendship. While I was disappointed that while they crossed paths, they didn’t have anything like a friendship until after page 300, the cons...

  • Alina

    I was pleasantly surprised by Tom Chaffin's new book "Revolutionary Brothers". The novel gives a short but very detailed dual biography of Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de LaFayette. As a good Amer...

  • Sherwood Smith

    The title is misleading, in that is implies a focus on a relationship that in truth was a small part of two quite remarkable lives.Chaffin does a terrific job of sketching the lives of both men, and w...

  • The Colonial

    Pity the poor modern biographer. With reams of biographies literally overloading the book shelves, and the lives of most prominent historical figures documented ad nauseam, there’s precious little n...

  • Janet

    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do ...

  • Shoshana

    Tom Chaffin is an excellent writer, and the prose in this work of history reads like a novel. “Revolutionary Brothers” is the story of the friendship between Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de La...

  • David

    A dual biography of Jefferson and Lafayette that focuses on the periods of the American Revolution and Jefferson’s time as a diplomat in Paris. Despite the title, it is unclear that the two had a cl...

  • Tiffany

    Chaffin's Revolutionary Brothers provides general readers a relatively complete overview of the lives of Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette while connecting how the two lives intersected an...

  • Casey Wheeler

    This book is a dual biography of the time period in which Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette interacted with each other from the Revolutionary War through Lafayette's final return to the Un...

  • Matthew

    Many thanks to NetGalley for an advance pdf of this book."Revolutionary Brothers" is a welcome look at some of the most important alliance-building relationships of the American and French Revolutions...