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For Liberty and Glory: Washington, Lafayette, and Their Revolutions
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For Liberty and Glory: Washington, Lafayette, and Their Revolutions

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  197 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
On April 18, 1775, a riot over the price of flour broke out in the French city of Dijon. That night, across the Atlantic, Paul Revere mounted the fastest horse he could find and kicked it into a gallop.So began what have been called the "sister revolutions" of France and America. In a single, thrilling narrative, this book tells the story of those revolutions and shows jus ...more
Hardcover, 533 pages
Published September 17th 2007 by W. W. Norton Company (first published 2007)
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Jul 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
A readable, insightful and interesting history of Washington and Lafayette’s friendship and their impact on, an attempted leadership of, the American and French Revolutions. Gaines tells the story as both a dual biography and a sort of dual history, a style that may be bit puzzling at times but one that he is mostly able to work with and is always engaging. The narrative is smooth, clear, well-paced and interesting, as well as humorous in parts.

Washington comes off as stiff, distant, and not alw
Michael Ladusau
May 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A remarkable work. An examination of the American and French Revolutions focusing on the lives of Washington and Lafayette; their personal and political relationship, their influence on one another, and how that in turn influenced each country's history. Very well written; the personalities and the times come alive explaining how the culture and past of each nation influenced the path that revolution took.
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
This wasn't bad- I'm probably giving it a higher rating than it deserves because it's so obviously my cup of tea in terms of subject matter. However, given the increased popularity of the Revolutionary War in light of "Hamilton: An American Musical", maybe I'm not too ludicrous in giving something this niche a high review- maybe one of you nerds lurking out there will read it. Regardless of any pre-existing pretenses, this is clever, intellectual, and informative in the kind of way you don't rea ...more
Gerry Connolly
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
James Gaines details the extraordinary bond between Washington and LaFayette in For Liberty and Glory. LaFayette's life spanned two revolutions and a great return tour to post-revolutionary America in 1824. A man dedicated to liberty and the rights of man.
Feb 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
“Washington, Lafayette, and others like them foreswore religious faith not from reading or thinking deeply about the matter (asked why the Constitution did not invoke God, Hamilton supposedly said, “We forgot”)…(15-16) “Washington’s exact words were not recorded, but from what Conway wrote later it is clear that Washington minced no words: He said he found it remarkable that Congress would promote someone who spoke so little at war councils before operations and criticized so often afterwards…” ...more
Jan 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
My mother bought this book for me because at the time I was taking a class about the American Revolution and it was (and still is) on deep clearance at

The only reason I can think that it is on such a deep clearance is because people are sadly not interested in History. They are much more interested in current events, either political or entertainment-wise but that is rant for another day.

I enjoyed this book very much. It explores the relationship that existed between George Washington
Jason , etc.
Jul 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When character and circumstance crash together, what ends up happening is a bunch of history. I think Socrates said that. Or maybe Ovid. Whatever. Writing history is tough largely due to the burden of trying to gauge how thorough one needs to be in the examination of a given subject. My history geekery seems to sit in the 18th century, specifically the years preceeding the Seven Years' War and burning through to ~1805. This book focuses on arguably two of the more interesting characters of the r ...more
Mar 21, 2011 rated it it was ok
A neat and interesting premise, if a little risky: casting the French and American Revolutions in light of two major figures who had a hand in each conflict. Beginning with the American Revolution, Gaines provides an overview of the philosophical background, an examination of the practical execution of the conflict, and the major role that France played in each. Casting the ideals of the American Revolution as directly derived from the French Enlightenment, the narrative goes on to relate the cr ...more
Michael Lunsford
Sep 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommended for anyone who enjoys American or European history, this book follows America through the revolution surrounding George Washington and the friendship developed with Lafayette as well as the French Revolution(s). The first half of the book primarily focuses on America's ordeal then switches to France on the second half, yet it jumps between the two pretty readily. The book does a good job of describing Washington's personality if that is even something describable. I did get lost at t ...more
Aubrey Dustin
Mar 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
“Oh! Heaven grant us one great soul! One leading mind would extricate the best cause; from the ruin which seems to await it…One active, masterly capacity would bring order out of this confusion and save this country.”

The “great soul” that, more than any other, extricated America from the disaster of the Revolutionary War was George Washington. George Washington was also both mentor to, and beneficiary of, the greatest soul of the French Revolution, Lafayette.

Mr. Gaines writes a history of bot
Jun 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, history
I could have a few nitpicks about little things in this book, like the author's typical historian-establishment statement that the Founding Fathers really weren't religious, certainly not Christian, but overall this was very well done and a very enjoyable read. The author took the fascinating Washington-Lafayette relationship and used it to explore both men, their ideals and motivations, and the two revolutions they were intimately invoved in. He did a good job "going deeper" and exploring all o ...more
Jan 17, 2009 is currently reading it
Who knew that Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais and his play, The Marriage of Figaro, led to anything but Mozart's opera? Well, I didn't. But apparently Beaumarchais was one of the principal funding forces behind the American Revolution and his play a principal intellectual force behind the French Revolution. Along the way there's a French transgendered diplomat "forced" to spend the rest of a life as a woman. Didn't know about her contribution, either. Both Washington and Lafayette come acr ...more
Gerald Curtis
Aug 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
If you like history, and don't mind endless, grinding details that might, at the time, seem unimportant, but are willing to pay the price of keeping track of them over the decades, this is an amazing account.

This narrative describes the people and events that parallel and intertwined to try and accomplish and to prevent the revolutions in France and America.

I had never known how intricately they were codependent , nor how complicated and financial it all was. This book (approximately 30 hours of
Feb 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Everyone thinks they know the story of the American Revolution, and most people have seen Les Mis, so they think they know the story of the French Revolution too...but the stories are much deeper and much more interconnected than most people know. Gaines does a great job putting the two events together through George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette. It's not a full biography of a both or a full accounting of either event, but just enough of everything to put the picture together.
Jan 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
A great work bringing together two heroes of their time, Washington and Lafayette. This very thorough comparison of the battle for freedom in America and in France in the late 1700's and thereafter, describes the trials and triumphs of these two great men, as well as their close working relationship turned friendship. A pleasurable read; I learned a lot the history books don't tell us!
Oct 27, 2009 rated it liked it
I have had to pick up and put down this book so many times that it is frustrating. It is a very good book but due to a hectic schedule it has been hard for me to constantly read but I will finish it so I can move on to my next book.
Brendan Howard
Oct 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of readable history and books on American history and the American and French Revolutions
Shelves: history
A superlative history book for its rich characterizations, deep research, and novel-like pace and drama. It succeeds, also, in beautifully merging, comparing, and contrasting two different generals who were closer than many of us remember from history class.
Mar 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scholarly-works
A fascinating parallel account of the American and French revolutions, and both George Washington's and the Marquis de LaFayette's parallel quests for remembrance (or "glory"). I was *really* lucky in that I got this gem for free as an Advance Reader's Copy last year.
This is based upon the audio download from []

Narrated by: Norman Dietz
Gary Gudmundson
Apr 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
His name was

"the very high and mighty lord Monseigneur Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert de Motier de La Fayette"..."baron de Vissac, lord of St Romain, Fix and other places"
Apr 13, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: military-side
I usually love most books about Washington, not so much this one.
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
An excellent discussion of Washington and Lafayette, the life of Lafayette, and (to a lesser extent) the role of continental Europeans in the American Revolution.
Adam Hodge
I liked Adopted Son better.
Aug 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: not-entered
For me explained well the influences of both the French and American revolutions on each other. Also, great insight into Lafayette and his roles in both revolutions.
Mar 21, 2008 rated it it was ok
hard to get through, more about France than Washington. Lacked a thesis and a voice
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Nov 14, 2013
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Apr 01, 2016
Ronnie Edwon
rated it it was amazing
Jan 28, 2013
Susan M List
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Dec 26, 2014
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James R. Gaines is an American journalist, author, and international publishing consultant who is best known as a magazine editor. He was the chief editor of Time, Life, and People magazines between 1987 and 1996 and subsequently the corporate editor of Time Inc.

Gaines is a graduate of the McBurney School in New York City and the University of Michigan. His career in magazine journalism started at
More about James R. Gaines...