Catalogue


Lafayette /
Harlow Giles Unger.
imprint
New York : John Wiley & Sons, c2002.
description
xxiii, 452 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm.
ISBN
0471394327 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : John Wiley & Sons, c2002.
isbn
0471394327 (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
4787772
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 427-432) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Harlow Giles Unger: A veteran journalist, he was a foreign news editor at the New York Herald Tribune Overseas Service and a foreign correspondent for the Times and the Sunday Times (London). The author of eight books on American education, he lives in New York City and Paris, France
Excerpts
Flap Copy
In this gripping biography, acclaimed author Harlow Giles Unger paints an intimate and detailed portrait of the heroic young French soldier who, at nineteen, renounced a life of luxury in Paris and Versailles to fight and bleed for liberty-at Brandywine, Valley Forge, and Yorktown. A major general in the Continental army, he quickly earned the love of his troops, his fellow commanders, and his commander in chief, George Washington, who called him his "adopted son." To the troops, he was "the soldier's friend"; to Americans all, he was "our Marquis." In a tale filled with adventure, romance, and political intrigue, Unger follows Lafayette from the battlefields of North America to the palace of Versailles, where the marquis won the most stunning diplomatic victory in world history-convincing the French court to send the huge military and naval force needed to win American independence. He then returned to America to lead the remarkable guerrilla campaign in Virginia that climaxed with British surrender at Yorktown-and earned him the title "Conqueror of Cornwallis." Lafayette's triumph turned to tragedy, however, when he tried to introduce American democracy in his native land. His quest for a constitutional monarchy unwittingly set off the savage French Revolution and plunged Europe into more than a decade of slaughter and war. Declared an enemy of the state, Lafayette fled France only to be imprisoned for five years in an Austrian dungeon, while his wife, Adrienne, and her family festered in prison, awaiting the cruel blade of the guillotine. Based on years of research in France as well as in the United States, Unger's biography reveals how American ambassador James Monroe won Adrienne Lafayette's freedom and helped Lafayette's only son, George-Washington Lafayette, escape France to the safety of his godfather's home in Mount Vernon, even as the guillotine claimed his great-grandmother, grandmother, and aunt. Lafayette is also a compelling romance, as Lafayette and his beloved, Adrienne de Noailles, feast at their sumptuous wedding banquet, dance at Marie Antoinette's lavish palace balls, and embrace in anguish in the ghastly Austrian dungeon that Adrienne and her daughters shared with Lafayette for two brutal years. Inspiring and educational, Lafayette is the dramatic life story of one of the great leaders in American and European history, swept up in the cataclysmic events that spawned the longest-lasting democracy in the New World and prolonged despotism for two centuries in the Old.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2003-06-01:
Unger, a former foreign news editor at the New York Herald Tribune, provides an intimate, detailed, and balanced biography of one of the great leaders in US and European history. Based on archival sources in France and the US, the book follows the marquis from the opulent surroundings of Versailles, where he was able to convince Louis XVI to send a French armada and thousands of troops to aid the American rebels, to the battlefields of North America. Although the "Conqueror of Cornwallis" was revered in America, Lafayette failed to be a hero in the Old World. His quest for a constitutional monarchy unwittingly triggered the French Revolution. After being declared an enemy of the state by Robespierre, Lafayette fled France and was imprisoned in an Austrian dungeon while his wife and her family awaited execution in France. Only the intercession of US ambassador James Monroe freed the family. While he may not have been the "Hero of Two Worlds," Lafayette remained an important figure in both. He became the world's foremost champion of individual liberty, religious tolerance, universal suffrage, and free trade. Summing Up: Recommended. All libraries. D. J. Heimmermann University of North Alabama
Appeared in Library Journal on 2002-08-12:
Appearing at a time when there is a new wave of interest in America's Founding Fathers, this well-written and well-researched biography should appeal to traditional political historians and informed lay readers alike. The author, a journalist and biographer, makes no secret of his great admiration for Lafayette, whom he presents as a "gallant knight" and true believer in American republican and constitutional ideals. Critical of historiographical interpretations that have painted Lafayette in either a romanticized or a cynical way, Unger aims to recount objectively the Frenchman's contributions to the great events of his age the American War of Independence and the French Revolutions of 1789 and 1830. The first biography of Lafayette to appear in almost 20 years, this text is noteworthy for the attention it gives to Lafayette's personal friendship with George Washington and for its careful reconstruction of the role Lafayette played in diplomatic and economic issues of importance to the fledgling American nation. Unger implies that Lafayette's "distaste for political leadership" and his consistent rejection of both political and military power may have played a role in allowing "madmen and fanatics" like Robespierre to rise to power. Although his biases against the French radical republicans are clear, Unger has succeeded in his goal of restoring Lafayette to his rightful place in Western political history. For all libraries. Marie Marmo Mullaney, Caldwell Coll., NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
* Appearing at a time when there is a new wave of interest in America's Founding Fathers, this well-written and well-researched biography should appeal to traditional political historians and informed lay readers alike. The author, a journalist and biographer, makes no secret of his great admiration for Lafayette, whom he presents as a "gallant knight" and true believer in American republican and constitutional ideals. Critical of historiographical interpretations that have painted Lafayette in either a romanticized or a cynical way, Unger aims to recount objectively the Frenchman's contributions to the great events of his age-the American War of Independence and the French Revolutions of 1789 and 1830. The first biography of Lafayette to appear in almost 20 years, this text is noteworthy for the attention it gives to Lafayette's personal friendship with George Washington and for its careful reconstruction of the role Lafayette played in diplomatic and economic issues of importance to the fledgling American nation. Unger implies that Lafayette's "distaste for political leadership" and his consistent rejection of both political and military power may have played a role in allowing "madmen and fanaticslike Robespierre to rise to power. Although his biases against the French radical republicans are clear, Unger has succeeded in his goal of restoring Lafayette to his rightful place in Western political history. For all libraries. --Marie Marmo (Library Journal, August 2002)
"A lively and entertaining portrait of one of the most important supporting actors in the two revolutions that transformed the modern world." -Susan Dunn, author of Sister Revolutions: French Lightning, American Light "I found Mr. Unger's book exceptionally well done. It's an admirable account of the Marquis' two revolutions -- one might even say his two lives -- the French and the American. It also captures the private Lafayette and his remarkable wife Adrienne in often moving detail." -Tom Fleming, Author of Liberty! The American Revolution "Harlow G. Unger has cornered the market on muses to emerge as America's most readable historian. His new biography of the Marquis de Lafayette combines a thoroughgoing account of the age of revolution, a probing psychological study of a complex man, and a literary style that goes down like cream.A worthy successor to his splendid biography of Noah Webster." -Florence King, Contributing Editor, National Review "Harlow Ungar's LAFAYETTE is a remarkable and dramatic account of a life as fully lived as it is possible to imagine, that of Gilbert de Motier, Marquis de LaFayette. To American readers Ungar's biography will provide a stark reminder of just how near run a thing was our War of Independence and the degree to which our forefather's victory hinged on the help of our French allies, marshalled for George Washington by his 'adopted' son Lafayette, But even more absorbing and much less well known to the general reader will be Ungar's account of Lafayette's idealistic but naive efforts to plant the fruits of the American democracy he so admired in the unreceptive soil of his homeland. His inspired oratory produced not the constitutional democracy he sought but the bloody Jacobin excesses of the French Revolution. "Father of the French people" he is said to have muttered on his death bed--" as long as they don't have to heed a word that I say to them!" -Larry Collins, Co-author of Is Paris Burning? and O Jerusalem
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, August 2002
Choice, June 2003
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Back Cover Copy
Acclaim for Lafayette "I found Mr. Unger's book exceptionally well done. It's an admirable account of the marquis's two revolutions-one might even say his two lives-the French and the American. It also captures the private Lafayette and his remarkable wife, Adrienne, in often moving detail." -Thomas Fleming, author, Liberty!: The American Revolution "Harlow Unger's Lafayette is a remarkable and dramatic account of a life as fully lived as it is possible to imagine, that of Gilbert de Motier, marquis de Lafayette. To American readers Unger's biography will provide a stark reminder of just how near run a thing was our War of Independence and the degree to which our forefathers' victory hinged on the help of our French allies, marshalled for George Washington by his ‘adopted' son, Lafayette. But even more absorbing and much less well known to the general reader will be Unger's account of Lafayette's idealistic but naive efforts to plant the fruits of the American democracy he so admired in the unreceptive soil of his homeland. His inspired oratory produced not the constitutional democracy he sought but the bloody Jacobin excesses of the French Revolution."-Larry Collins, coauthor, Is Paris Burning? and O Jerusalem! "A lively and entertaining portrait of one of the most important supporting actors in the two revolutions that transformed the modern world."-Susan Dunn, author, Sister Revolutions: French Lightning, American Light "Harlow Unger has cornered the market on muses to emerge as America's most readable historian. His new biography of the marquis de Lafayette combines a thoroughgoing account of the age of revolution, a probing psychological study of a complex man, and a literary style that goes down like cream. A worthy successor to his splendid biography of Noah Webster."-Florence King, Contributing Editor, National Review "Enlightening! The picture of Lafayette's life is a window to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century history."-Michel Aubert La Fayette
Bowker Data Service Summary
This is a biography of the Marquis de Lafayette, one of the key figures in the social, political, and military upheavals that shaped the western world in the late 18th and 19th centuries.
Main Description
Acclaim for Lafayette "I found Mr. Unger's book exceptionally well done. It's an admirable account of the marquis's two revolutions-one might even say his two lives-the French and the American. It also captures the private Lafayette and his remarkable wife, Adrienne, in often moving detail." -Thomas Fleming, author, Liberty!: The American Revolution "Harlow Unger's Lafayette is a remarkable and dramatic account of a life as fully lived as it is possible to imagine, that of Gilbert de Motier, marquis de Lafayette. To American readers Unger's biography will provide a stark reminder of just how near run a thing was our War of Independence and the degree to which our forefathers' victory hinged on the help of our French allies, marshalled for George Washington by his 'adopted' son, Lafayette. But even more absorbing and much less well known to the general reader will be Unger's account of Lafayette's idealistic but naive efforts to plant the fruits of the American democracy he so admired in the unreceptive soil of his homeland. His inspired oratory produced not the constitutional democracy he sought but the bloody Jacobin excesses of the French Revolution."-Larry Collins, coauthor, Is Paris Burning? and O Jerusalem! "A lively and entertaining portrait of one of the most important supporting actors in the two revolutions that transformed the modern world."-Susan Dunn, author, Sister Revolutions: French Lightning, American Light "Harlow Unger has cornered the market on muses to emerge as America's most readable historian. His new biography of the marquis de Lafayette combines a thoroughgoing account of the age of revolution, a probing psychological study of a complex man, and a literary style that goes down like cream. A worthy successor to his splendid biography of Noah Webster."-Florence King, Contributing Editor, National Review "Enlightening! The picture of Lafayette's life is a window to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century history."-Michel Aubert La Fayette
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Chronologyp. xiii
Prefacep. xvii
The Best of Times
The Young Knightp. 3
The Questp. 17
First Bloodp. 31
Boy Generalp. 47
An American Winterp. 60
The Alliancep. 74
Return to Royal Favorp. 93
The Traitor and the Spyp. 112
Ride to Gloryp. 126
"The Play Is Over"p. 138
Conqueror of Cornwallisp. 160
Completing the Questp. 182
The Worst of Times
The Notables and the "Not Ables"p. 207
"I Reign in Paris"p. 224
Guardian Angelp. 240
Prisoners of the Mobp. 257
The Most Hated Man in Europep. 277
The Prisoners of Olmutzp. 298
Resurrectionp. 320
Apotheosisp. 339
Les Adieuxp. 362
Epiloguep. 381
Notesp. 385
Selected Bibliography of Principal Sourcesp. 427
Indexp. 433
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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