Everyone give it up for America's favorite fighting Frenchman! Vowell brings her trademark wry wit to the young marquis who became an unlikely hero in the American Revolution. Recommended By The Dot, Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
From the bestselling author of Assassination Vacation
and Unfamiliar Fishes
, a humorous account of the Revolutionary War hero Marquis de Lafayette—the one Frenchman we could all agree on—and an insightful portrait of a nation's idealism and its reality.
On August 16, 1824, an elderly French gentlemen sailed into New York Harbor and giddy Americans were there to welcome him. Or, rather, to welcome him back. It had been thirty years since the Revolutionary War hero the Marquis de Lafayette had last set foot in the United States, and he was so beloved that 80,000 people showed up to cheer for him. The entire population of New York at the time was 120,000.
Lafayette's arrival in 1824 coincided with one of the most contentious presidential elections in American history, Congress had just fought its first epic battle over slavery, and the threat of a Civil War loomed. But Lafayette, belonging to neither North nor South, to no political party or faction, was a walking, talking reminder of the sacrifices and bravery of the revolutionary generation and what they wanted this country to be. His return was not just a reunion with his beloved Americans, it was a reunion for Americans with their own astonishing singular past.
Lafayette in the Somewhat United States is a humorous and insightful portrait of the famed Frenchman, the impact he had on our young country, and his ongoing relationship with some of the instrumental Americans of the time, including George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and many more.
"Vowell...reads history with attitude, humor and sensitivity." Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“As entertaining and personable as it is informative.”Washington Post
“Its scintillating cast includes dour missionaries, genital-worshiping heathens, Teddy Roosevelt, incestuous royalty, a nutty Mormon, a much-too-merry monarch, President Obama, sugar barons, an imprisoned queen and Vowell herself, in a kind of 50th-state variety show. It’s a fun book…[a] playful, provocative, stand-up approach to history.” The New York Times Book Review
“Sarah Vowell is an intellectual melting pot. Her cleverness is gorgeously American….” Los Angeles Times
“Sarah Vowell is for my money, the best essayist/radio commentator/sit-down comic and pointy headed history geek in the business.” Seattle Times
"[Vowell exercises] her trademark sweet, silly, arch sense of the incongruous ways we memorialize the American past." Chicago Tribune
About the Author
Sarah Vowell is the bestselling author of The Wordy Shipmates, Assassination Vacation, The Partly Cloudy Patriot, Take the Cannoli, and Radio On. A contributing editor for public radio’s "This American Life", she lives in New York City.