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
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781250113726
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    Revolutionary Brothers: Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis de Lafayette, and the Friendship that Helped Forge Two Nations Reviews

  • Faith

    The title of this book suggests that it will be about the friendship between Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette. That is not really the case. While they became friends when Jefferson and La...

  • 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...

  • Donald Powell

    Primarily a biography of the Marquis de Lafayette and a limited biography of Jefferson. It has a great deal of detail much of which I had not known, especially about Lafayette. It was a good recitatio...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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 th...

  • 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...

  • Victoria Rodrguez

    An incredible book about important episodes on the Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson. I liked the pace in which the book was written because even though was descriptive it had clear explanatio...

  • 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...