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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Revolutionary Brothers

Revolutionary Brothers

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

Tom Chaffin; read by Rick Adamson

Macmillan Audio

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

Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette shared a singularly extraordinary friendship, one involved in the making of two revolutions—and two nations. Jefferson first met Lafayette in 1781, when the young French-born general was dispatched to Virginia to assist Jefferson, then the state’s governor, in fighting off the British. The charismatic Lafayette, hungry for glory, could not have seemed more different from Jefferson, the reserved statesman. But when Jefferson, a newly-appointed diplomat, moved to Paris three years later, speaking little French and in need of a partner, their friendship began in earnest.

As Lafayette opened doors in Paris and Versailles for Jefferson, so too did the Virginian stand by Lafayette as the Frenchman became inexorably drawn into the maelstrom of his country's revolution. Jefferson counseled Lafayette 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. By 1792, however, the upheaval had rendered Lafayette 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 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, … More…

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

Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette shared a singularly extraordinary friendship, one involved in the making of two revolutions—and two nations. Jefferson first met Lafayette in 1781, when the young French-born general was dispatched to Virginia to assist Jefferson, then the state’s governor, in fighting off the British. The charismatic Lafayette, hungry for glory, could not have seemed more different from Jefferson, the reserved statesman. But when Jefferson, a newly-appointed diplomat, moved to Paris three years later, speaking little French and in need of a partner, their friendship began in earnest.

As Lafayette opened doors in Paris and Versailles for Jefferson, so too did the Virginian stand by Lafayette as the Frenchman became inexorably drawn into the maelstrom of his country's revolution. Jefferson counseled Lafayette 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. By 1792, however, the upheaval had rendered Lafayette 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 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.

"Revolutionary Brothers is a compelling narrative of an epic—and unlikely—friendship from the Enlightenment era, enlivened by bracing plot-turns and vividly-drawn characters."—Walter S. Isaacson, bestselling author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

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Tom Chaffin; read by Rick Adamson

Tom Chaffin is the author of, among other books, Giant's Causeway: Frederick Douglass's Irish Odyssey and the Making of an American Visionary; Sea of Gray: The Around-the-World Odyssey of the Confederate Raider Shenandoah; and Pathfinder: John Charles Frémont and the Course of American Empire. His writings have also appeared in the New York Times, the Oxford American, Time, Harper's, and other publications. He lives in Atlanta.

image of Tom Chaffino
Nacer Jalloul

Tom Chaffin

Macmillan Audio

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