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

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4.15  ·  Rating details ·  34 ratings  ·  28 reviews
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
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Hardcover, 544 pages
Published November 26th 2019 by St. Martin's Press
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Alina
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 American, I know many facts and details of Mr. Jefferson's life, however, this book gave me a better insight into his life before and after making a huge impact on American History.

The story of the Marquis de LaFayette's life was very fascinating, and his rise and fall of power have been very
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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 where they intersected--first early in the Revolution, when the young and eager La Fayette came to North America seeking glory, then when Jefferson went to France on the eve of its Revolution, and threw himself into the high life among the (doomed) aristocrats, and finally when La Fayette needed
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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 them do it as they do it better than I do .

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
...more
Shoshana
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 Lafayette. Two very different men, over time they became like brothers. The two of them were instrumental in the forging of two revolutions, and two countries.

Dual biographies are always a tricky business. There is not enough space for the level of detail for each person as in a regular biography, but in
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David
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 close relationship.
As a very occasional reader of early American history, I appreciated the fact that the author did not assume a familiarity with the details of the American Revolution. The stories of Lafayette’s quest for glory and Jefferson’s efforts to stay out of the war provide an interesting
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Tiffany
Aug 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Chaffin's Revolutionary Brothers provides general readers a relatively complete overview of the lives of Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette while connecting how the two lives intersected and influenced the history of two countries. The discussion of the American Revolution doesn't delve too far into battles and keeps this book from becoming a complicated military history work. Chaffin's narrative style makes the topic accessible to readers that may not have a lot of background ...more
Casey Wheeler
This book is a dual biography of the time period in which Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette interacted with each other from the Revolutionary War through Lafayette's final return to the United States in 1824. The book was an interesting read in that I had not read much about Lafayette's life. I found his role leading up to, during and after the French Revolution of particular interest. The author, while indicating a close relationship through the title, does not demonstrate what I ...more
Matthew
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Many thanks to NetGalley for an advance pdf of this book.

"Revolutionary Brothers" is a welcome look at some of the most important alliance-building relationships of the American and French Revolutions. The Marquis de Lafayette actively sought involvement in the American Revolution, bringing his eagerness and wealth to the successful support of George Washington and the Continental Army and becoming something of an able and storied leader of soldiers in his own right. It turned out that part of
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Greg
May 29, 2019 rated it liked it
I received this book for free from the publisher in return for an honest and unbiased review.

I had just finished His Excellency by Joseph Ellis and was debating between reading a Jefferson or a Lafayette biography when I received the email from St. Martin's Press regarding Chaffin’s Revolutionary Brothers. Perfect, I thought, a book about both of them! I was surprised, too, because I didn’t know that they had been close friends. From the subtitle, “Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis de Lafayette, and
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Tawney
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, non-fiction
I received an ARC of this book compliments of St. Martin's Press and History Reader.

Tom Chaffin finds a sweet spot in the level and kind of detail in this history. The players in both the American and French Revolutions were human with contradictions in their personalities, as well as doubts, hopes, and stress. Chaffin reveals how these personalities acted and reacted to the events of their lives without bogging down in great detail over specifics. When Jefferson is sent to France his job is to
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Trick Wiley
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I enjoy history and these two men are no exception! I learned more and more about Jefferson and Lafayette especially Lafyette. Besides him being a friend of Hamilton and read some about Lafayette then but not like I did in this book! Really this should be a read in high school it will help explain so much! Received this from Net Galley and don't think it has even been published get but when it is it will take off especially with historians and with others who want to know more about these two ...more
Jill Elizabeth
Jun 24, 2019 rated it liked it
My father is the American history fanatic in our family; I'm a bit of a dilettante. I enjoy gathering bits of knowledge and fun facts from different eras, but don't (typically) read to an obsessive level of detail. I prefer reading the stories behind important people and events to a recitation of the detailed facts of each. As such, this one both hit the mark for me and shot to the left of center.

On one hand, it's relatively brief (for non-fiction history) and offers a solid look at two very
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RJ
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book for history students and fans. Jefferson quiet, private, Lafayette outgoing, liked accolades, yet, lifelong friends. Primarily a follower of United States history, it was good to remember and learn new facts about France's story. Great description of that country's revolution with Robespierre and the reign of terror when thousands were beheaded and Lafayette imprisoned for dealings with the king although he wanted democracy for the French people. It almost seems like it all ...more
Thomas Lambe
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was allowed to read an ARC from NetGalley (thank you!).

This was very well-written and well researched. Tremendous care was given to both it is obvious! These two gentlemen have always been favorites of mine from American history. It was a treat to see them both in one read.

My only quibble is that the links between the two are perhaps weaker than maybe the title indicated. Overall, it was an excellent read and I would undoubtedly recommend to anyone interested in these two powerful subjects.
Melanie
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book tells of the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette, who met in 1781. They are described as opposites but were drawn together as each had a need fulfilled by the other. This is a long, slow read as it is filled with facts and history. It is obvious the research to write this book was monumental. It is well done and really interesting. I always enjoy learning more about this country’s past from different vantage points. I won this book as an ARC through the ...more
Janilyn Kocher
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Revolutionary Brothers is an interesting comparisons of Lafayette and Jefferson. Lafayette had immense wealth while Jefferson only had the illusion of deep pockets. They were both connessiurs of women. I think Lafayette was more of a dandy than Jefferson and Jefferson was definitely the more qualified statesman. The ending was very abrupt and inconsistent with the writing style. It was also flat. Thanks to NetGalley for the early read.
Mandy
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
A well-researched, well-written and engaging dual biography of Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette, with a good balance between straight serious history and entertaining anecdote. In spite of the title there’s not a lot about their friendship, but that friendship was indeed an important aspect of their lives and the details are well handled. Recommended – it was a turbulent time and Chaffin has done a good job of making history accessible to the general reader.
Noreen Brown
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I won this book from The History Reader, What we learn in school about these 2 men is just the tip of the iceberg. we knew nothing. This book is the entire iceberg.
This book is step back in time to our country in the 1700's.
Unfortunately casual readers are not going to pick this book up. They should give it a go anyway. They will learn quite a lot about events in the forming of our country.
I admit I did not sit down and read it in one go...I read my historical fiction in between!
Donna Pingry
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very interesting book that fleshed out so much more of the sad attempt to teach us American history in school. The title was kind of misleading. The first part of the book was more about Lafayette and George Washington. I do understand there was little documentation regarding Lafayette and Jefferson's meeting in America so the book kind of suffered there. Later chapters developed the relationship while both were in France. I was disappointed with the ending. It wasn't very successful.
Christina
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
As I am a lover of history, I was happy to read this book. A veritable treasure trove of information regarding these two men who were like brothers in the revolution. I always felt like the Marquis de Lafayette was an. honorary American. So I wasn't surprised to read of his dedication to the American cause. A truly interesting book to read. I voluntarily read this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Steve
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As a history teacher, I know a lot of the basics. This book goes beyond basic knowledge and provides enormous depth and detail. I really enjoyed reading about the daily lives of these two well known history figures. The pacing and the switching back and forth provided a very nice pacing.
Carl Broderick
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Utterly fascinating! Worth the time! Great read!
S. L.
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Greatly enjoyed this book! Fascinating portraits of Jefferson and Lafayette that highlighted little known aspects of their two lives. A great story too!
Doris Raines
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I LIKE THIS BOOK.
Amy
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Revolutionary Brothers: Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis de Lafayette, and the Friendship that Helped Forge Two Nations is an interesting read and gets four stars from me.
BDW
Sep 29, 2019 rated it liked it
So so review of Lafayette and Jefferson. Well enough written this is more of a basic survey than a book which contributes nothing new. There are more interesting works on both men.
Brandon
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an advanced copy from St. Martin's press.

Revolutionary Brothers is more of two separate biography one of Thomas Jefferson and the other of Marquis De Lafayette. The author does a great job of explaining what each man participated and help in both the American Revolution and the French Revolution. There is not a lot of direct duologue between the two men but there is a great respect and admiration between the two men. The book does a great job telling how involved the Marquis De
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Debra Pawlak
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an advance reading copy (arc) of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. I was intrigued by the subject of this book as I knew very little about the Marquis de Lafayette. As the author states in the beginning, most cities have parks, streets, squares, etc. named after General Lafayette, but how many of us really know who he is exactly? I know I didn't. It turns out that the Marquis, a forward thinker, had a very interesting life and made his way to America at a the ...more
Janet
rated it really liked it
Sep 12, 2019
Shelly
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Aug 21, 2019
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Historian Tom Chaffin is the author of “Revolutionary Brothers: Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis de Lafayette, and the Friendship that Helped Forge Two Nations,” to be published in November 2019 by St. Martin’s Press. The work tells the story of the enduring relationship between the American Founding Father and the French aristocrat and how their collaborations helped to shape events associated with ...more