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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. 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 Independe 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 Independence first met Lafayette in 1781, when the young French-born general was dispatched to Virginia to assist Jefferson, then the governor, in fighting off the British. The charismatic Lafayette, hungry for glory on the battlefield, could not have seemed more different from Jefferson, the reserved and philosophical statesman. But when Jefferson, a newly-appointed diplomat, moved to Paris three years later, speaking little French and in need of a diplomatic partner, their friendship began in earnest. As Lafayette opened doors in Paris and Versailles for the neophyte emissary, so too did Jefferson stand by Lafayette as the Frenchman became inexorably drawn into the maelstrom of his country's revolution. The Virginian offered counsel to the young aristocrat 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. But Jefferson soon learned that the French Revolution's excesses had led to the persecution of Lafayette and his family. By 1792, the upheaval had rendered him 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, including Alexander Hamilton's sister-in-law Angelica Schuyler Church —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.


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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. 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 Independe 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 Independence first met Lafayette in 1781, when the young French-born general was dispatched to Virginia to assist Jefferson, then the governor, in fighting off the British. The charismatic Lafayette, hungry for glory on the battlefield, could not have seemed more different from Jefferson, the reserved and philosophical statesman. But when Jefferson, a newly-appointed diplomat, moved to Paris three years later, speaking little French and in need of a diplomatic partner, their friendship began in earnest. As Lafayette opened doors in Paris and Versailles for the neophyte emissary, so too did Jefferson stand by Lafayette as the Frenchman became inexorably drawn into the maelstrom of his country's revolution. The Virginian offered counsel to the young aristocrat 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. But Jefferson soon learned that the French Revolution's excesses had led to the persecution of Lafayette and his family. By 1792, the upheaval had rendered him 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, including Alexander Hamilton's sister-in-law Angelica Schuyler Church —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.

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

  1. 5 out of 5

    Faith

    The title of this book suggests that it will be about the friendship between Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette. That is not really the case. While they became friends when Jefferson and Lafayette were both in France, and remained friends until Jefferson’s death, the book is more of a dual biography of the two men. My eyes glaze over when reading about military maneuvering, and there was quite a bit of this in the beginning of the book covering the American Revolution. Nevertheless, I The title of this book suggests that it will be about the friendship between Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette. That is not really the case. While they became friends when Jefferson and Lafayette were both in France, and remained friends until Jefferson’s death, the book is more of a dual biography of the two men. My eyes glaze over when reading about military maneuvering, and there was quite a bit of this in the beginning of the book covering the American Revolution. Nevertheless, I found the book very readable. There was enough personal, social and political history to hold my interest. I could have done without the pointless recitation of Jefferson’s flirtations with married women. It was too gossipy for me, and certainly had nothing to do with Lafayette. Since I am more familiar with American history and Jefferson than I am with French history and Lafayette, the second half of the book was of more interest to me. It described the relationships among Jefferson, Franklin, Adams and Lafayette in France and also covered the French Revolution and Lafayette’s eventual imprisonment. The writing was clear and entertaining and I would read more by this author. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Louise

    I picked this up to learn about the Jefferson-Lafayette friendship. While I was disappointed that while they crossed paths, they didn’t have anything like a friendship until after page 300, the considerable detail and readable narrative kept my interest. There is always more to learn about Jefferson. Jefferson’s role (and lack of role) in the Revolution was clarified. Chaffin explains why he has been accused of cowardice. I was not aware of • Jefferson’s hosting of British and German POWs during I picked this up to learn about the Jefferson-Lafayette friendship. While I was disappointed that while they crossed paths, they didn’t have anything like a friendship until after page 300, the considerable detail and readable narrative kept my interest. There is always more to learn about Jefferson. Jefferson’s role (and lack of role) in the Revolution was clarified. Chaffin explains why he has been accused of cowardice. I was not aware of • Jefferson’s hosting of British and German POWs during the war: how he sought them and shared meals and music and how one officer he trusted violated his release terms and rejoined the British Army. • How Jefferson’s younger daughter had to be “tricked” (twice) to get her to join her father in France. Note, Sally Hemings her teenage “attendant” did not have the luxury of protesting the move. • Jefferson’s 3 month tour of rural France, Germany and parts of Italy – how he traveled and what he noticed. • The opulence of Jefferson’s residence in France nor the dinner he held at Lafayette’s request and its influence on events in France. - How Trumbull's famous Declaration of Independence was painted... and why many paintings of this period are fiction. Each of these sections, while not always germane to the story was interesting and added dimension. While the Jefferson sections are interesting, the star of this book is Lafayette. His status at age 20 (I liked that Chaffin often refers to age) as an orphan and husband made him one of the richest men in France. Inspired by the military traditions of his noble ubringing, he left his young family to fight for liberty in Brittan’s colonies. There is good background on his leaving arrangements, how he traveled with other military volunteers and marched 100s of miles north from their South Carolina landfall to meet Gen. Washington who was not quick to give him an assignment. Chaffin quotes another noble on the voyage who expressed skepticism about the American colony built on land taken from natives and farmed by slavery. In all my reading of history, I have never come upon a quote expressing this kind of skepticism so early on. Was it this a commonly expressed sentiment that has escaped the record? In his 30’s Lafayette is back in France involved at in the military and in political strategy. He created fundamental documents for his home country’s revolution, giving citizens rights and supporting a constitutional monarchy. Chaffin gives a strip down, but very clear telling of the this revolution. You see Lafayette no longer a callow soldier of fortune but a man using his celebrity to help moderate and steer the path of his country’s revolution. Chaffin refers to “missteps” he made, but it seems that he was the fall guy for the overreach of the monarchists. When Lafayette is imprisoned in Prussia as a radical (anti-monarchist), his wife, who to this point seemed sweet and shy, found a way out of France, campaigned internationally for his release and then traveled to stay with him in prison. Lafayette goaded his American colleagues about slavery and seemed to be ahead of the abolitionists in that he sees the slaves as real people. He arranged freedom for a slave who did not get the promised freedom for his spying for the continental army. Among his cultural and charitable endeavors was a Caribbean plantation that was to experiment with freeing its workers. There is no real report on this other than that the project had to be abandoned when he lost his fortune. I don’t know the background well enough to know if there is anything new here or not, but the book brings together a lot of threads on these two contemporary giants. If you are interested in this period, the book is an engrossing read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Donald Powell

    Primarily a biography of the Marquis de Lafayette and a limited biography of Jefferson. It has a great deal of detail much of which I had not known, especially about Lafayette. It was a good recitation of French and American relations and many of the issues from the revolution to the 1820's. My admiration for Lafayette is enhanced. The book does not center on the friendship of the two titled founders and indeed discusses many of the early leaders of the times discussed. Thank you to my friend Lo Primarily a biography of the Marquis de Lafayette and a limited biography of Jefferson. It has a great deal of detail much of which I had not known, especially about Lafayette. It was a good recitation of French and American relations and many of the issues from the revolution to the 1820's. My admiration for Lafayette is enhanced. The book does not center on the friendship of the two titled founders and indeed discusses many of the early leaders of the times discussed. Thank you to my friend Louise for recommending this book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    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 resc 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 rescuing as his own country turned on this idealistic adventurer. There are more detailed biographies of both out there (for fascinating detail and sheer readability, I recommend Claude Manceron's masterful multi-volume history of the period), but this one serves as an absorbing introduction to both men and their influence as the two countries experienced revolution. And toward the end, we do get a look at the promised relationship! Copy provided by NetGalley

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alina

    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 intriguing 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 intriguing. He has left tremendous footsteps in American history, and unfortunately is not fully recognized by it. An author has written a history that reads like a novel, which makes it so easy to read. He characterized the friendship of two extraordinary people in a remarkable manner. Thanks to him, I learned so much more about American History. Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

  6. 5 out of 5

    The Colonial

    Pity the poor modern biographer. With reams of biographies literally overloading the book shelves, and the lives of most prominent historical figures documented ad nauseam, there’s precious little new ground for the biographer to cover. A relatively recent trend, therefore, is to focus on the relationships between two or more historical figures, bringing new perspective to their individual lives through the lens of this personal connection. Tom Chaffin’s Revolutionary Brothers adopts this constru Pity the poor modern biographer. With reams of biographies literally overloading the book shelves, and the lives of most prominent historical figures documented ad nauseam, there’s precious little new ground for the biographer to cover. A relatively recent trend, therefore, is to focus on the relationships between two or more historical figures, bringing new perspective to their individual lives through the lens of this personal connection. Tom Chaffin’s Revolutionary Brothers adopts this construct with two significant figures from the birth of the modern democratic movement: Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette. The challenge then is to convince us that their relationship was not only meaningful to one another, but also historically significant. Given this goal, the focus of Revolutionary Brothers becomes not the American Revolution, but the five years during the late 1780s when Jefferson served as an American diplomat in Paris, a time when Lafayette became increasingly involved in the burgeoning French democracy movement, leading to the tumultuous period of the French Revolution. But first Chaffin gives us background on his subjects’ earlier lives, focusing on their important individual roles in the American Revolution. The main narrative opens in 1777, when the ship carrying Lafayette to America arrives off course, forcing the young noblemen into an uncomfortable overland journey through the South, until finally crashing a taciturn George Washington’s forty-fifth birthday party in Philadelphia. From here, Chaffin turns back—briefly—to cover Jefferson’s early life and career, including his work on the Declaration of Independence and Articles of Confederation as a member of the Continental Congress. More gripping than this well-trodden tale, however, is the story of Lafayette’s recruitment by the American diplomat Silas Deane back in France, who overstated his authority in promising Continental Army commissions not only to the teenage Lafayette, but also to other European soldiers who would go on to play prominent roles in the American Revolution—including Johann “Baron de” Kalb (no nobleman, though he presented himself as such) and the Irish-born, French officer Thomas Conway, instigator of the infamous, though exaggerated, “Conway Cabal.” Despite Washington’s initial reservations, the irrepressible Lafayette soon proved himself a worthy addition to the Continental officer corps, earning a place among Washington’s military “family” (as famously documented in the play Hamilton). Chaffin’s narrative accelerates here, documenting Lafayette’s increasing prominence in the battles at Brandywine (September 11, 1777) and Monmouth (June 28, 1778), until taking on his most important military role in 1781 as commander of Continental forces in Virginia, where he participated in the campaign leading to the British surrender at Yorktown that October. Also during this period, we have the true beginnings of Lafayette’s relationship with Jefferson—who served as Virginia’s governor during much of this time. Yet even as Chaffin focuses on Lafayette’s American Revolution military service, he takes time to develop a key theme: Lafayette’s moral opposition to slavery compared to Jefferson’s ambivalence. Born in a society where slavery was outlawed—at least inside the proper boundaries of France—and privileged with inherited wealth, Lafayette found American slavery morally disturbing and continued to argue against it throughout his life. The friendship of Jefferson and Lafayette truly blossomed after Jefferson was sent to Paris. While Jefferson acclimated to French culture and began a series of “affectionate” friendships with prominent doyennes of French society, Lafayette became a leading advocate for the democratic principles he so admired in America. As a “revolutionary,” Lafayette walked a fine line between attempts to empower France’s peasant class, its “Third Estate,” and maintaining the privileges of its noble one. Ultimately, he failed, though not before his significant contribution to the influential “Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen,” aided by Jefferson’s anonymous—though still influential—editorial input. But it is also during this period when Jefferson likely began a sexual relationship with the teenage slave Sally Hemmings, and Chaffin does not spare him for his moral failings, noting that the future president later coerced Hemmings into a return to America by promising her freedom there—a guarantee he only honored upon his death. In contrast, she would have been freed if she refused Jefferson’s offer and stayed in France. Lafayette’s revolutionary equivocations served him poorly during the bloody days of the French Revolution. Distrusted both by its fanatical zealots within France, and its monarchical opponents without, Lafayette spent much of the French Revolution in an Austrian prison. Now vice president, Jefferson sympathized with Lafayette’s fate, though there was little he could do to help in an official capacity. By the end of their lives, Lafayette had finally returned to France, where he was allowed a quiet retirement on one of his family’s hereditary estates, while Jefferson enjoyed the same fate at Monticello—still tended by Sally Hemmings and his other slaves. That both Jefferson and Lafayette played a reciprocal role in the revolutionary efforts of their respective countries is indisputable. The challenge for Chaffin is showing the progression of this relationship over 450 pages. In truth, there may not be enough documentary evidence to support the task. Aside from Jefferson’s residency in Paris, their relationship was tenuous for much of their lives. But even when Chaffin struggles to depict the relationship as meaningful, the book is entertaining in its depiction of their individual lives, and those looking for an energetic account of Lafayette—focused on his role in both the American and French revolutions—will find much to enjoy. Chaffin maintains narrative drive with short, brisk chapters that typically bounce back and forth between his two subjects. But Revolutionary Brothers shines most when its focus is on Lafayette, who emerges as sympathetic and likeable, a true revolutionary spirit and a devoted abolitionist. If Jefferson’s narrative is less intriguing, we can hardly blame Chaffin for struggling with such a complex topic. In the case of this dual biography, the premise may prove more compelling than the particulars, though readers will still enjoy Chaffin’s lively writing and his compelling portrait of Lafayette. Read the Full Review and More

  7. 5 out of 5

    David

    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 con 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 contrast. The Parisian period is primarily focused on Jefferson’s social life. It was interesting but not compelling. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing a prepublication ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    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 friendshi 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 which played a key role in the making of two revolutions—and two nations. The author of the Declaration of Independence first met Lafayette in 1781, when the young French-born general was dispatched to Virginia to assist Jefferson, then the governor, in fighting off the British. The charismatic Lafayette, hungry for glory on the battlefield, could not have seemed more different from Jefferson, the reserved and philosophical statesman. But when Jefferson, a newly-appointed diplomat, moved to Paris three years later, speaking little French and in need of a diplomatic partner, their friendship began in earnest. As Lafayette opened doors in Paris and Versailles for the neophyte emissary, so too did Jefferson stand by Lafayette as the Frenchman became inexorably drawn into the maelstrom of his country's revolution. The Virginian offered counsel to the young aristocrat 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. But Jefferson soon learned that the French Revolution's excesses had led to the persecution of Lafayette and his family. By 1792, the upheaval had rendered him 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, including Alexander Hamilton's sister-in-law Angelica Schuyler Church —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. We do not study American (or French) history in Canada and most of the content of this book I never knew about (aside from Angelica, that minx who had an affair with her brother in law!) These were two very complicated men, different yet the same, are now known for their friendship that survived through adversity - I learned so much from this book. It is not the kind of book that you just plop down and read - you need to take time to read it and think about its excellent contents. Therefore, it is a perfect book club pick! NOTE: (Oct. 7th) I was just sent the "correct" copy of this book ... the copy I reviewed was missing the last, well, 300 pages or so. I thought that it had ended abruptly so I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 ... now I realize that it is going to make more sense and worth the full five stars. #Notgoingtomissmyshot

  9. 5 out of 5

    Shoshana

    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 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 this case that is an advantage as Chaffin never gets bogged down in unnecessary facts and it keeps the narrative moving along smoothly. Everyone knows that the young Marquis de Lafayette came to the New World with the French military to help the Americans win their freedom from Great Britain. And most people know that Jefferson was the American representative in France. But the relationship between the two men is not well-known, and this book rectifies that. For Americans, Lafayette’s life after he left our shores, is generally unknown, and it was very interesting. Jefferson’s time in France is better known, but Chaffin filled in many blanks. This was an excellent book, and I can recommend it heartily. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC and PDF. The opinions are my own.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Rodríguez

    An incredible book about important episodes on the Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson. I liked the pace in which the book was written because even though was descriptive it had clear explanations on the protagonists. I barely knew about the life of Marquis de Lafayette, I find it very interesting. I have always admired Thomas Jefferson, the author described his time in France, England and Italy. This is the first book I read by Tom Chaffin and it won't be the last, I enjoyed enormously. An incredible book about important episodes on the Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson. I liked the pace in which the book was written because even though was descriptive it had clear explanations on the protagonists. I barely knew about the life of Marquis de Lafayette, I find it very interesting. I have always admired Thomas Jefferson, the author described his time in France, England and Italy. This is the first book I read by Tom Chaffin and it won't be the last, I enjoyed enormously.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

    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 knowled 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 knowledge of his topic, and even seasoned readers of the genre can learn something new. Chaffin is able to successfully achieve his stated goal and provides a unique dual biography that is well written, well researched, and accessible. I will be recommending this book everyone! I received this work as an advanced reader eBook from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to both.

  12. 4 out of 5

    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 wo 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 would consider a brotherly realtionship between the two. It was more of a friendship, but not a deep one. I recommend this book for those looking for the roles that both Jefferson and Lafayette played in the Revolutionary War, Jefferson's Ambassadorsip to France and Lafayette's role in the French Revolution. I received a free Kindle copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher with the understanding that I would post a review on Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon and my nonfiction book review blog. I also posted it to my Facebook  page.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Christopher A

    Probably 3.5 stars. Book was more centered around Lafayette than Jefferson, also seems like the author was stretching to find an importance in their friendship. Book was very engaging during chapters set in America but seemed convoluted when in France. Always enjoy reading about Lafayette but if you are only going to read 1 book on him i’d go elsewhere (Harlow Giles Unger’s Lafayette is my choice).

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Albright

    The unfortunate truth of the matter is that the lives of Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis De Lafayette did not intersect often enough for this book's title to really be borne out in its contents.  To be sure, the author is seeking (like many writers do) to find a unique angle that has not been approached in order to sell books and win awards as a middlebrow popular historian of the Revolutionary period of both America and France, and this book is worth reading mainly to find out more about the f The unfortunate truth of the matter is that the lives of Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis De Lafayette did not intersect often enough for this book's title to really be borne out in its contents.  To be sure, the author is seeking (like many writers do) to find a unique angle that has not been approached in order to sell books and win awards as a middlebrow popular historian of the Revolutionary period of both America and France, and this book is worth reading mainly to find out more about the fascinating and complex role of the Marquis De Lafayette in both the American and French Revolutions, which is not as widely known as it should be.  That said, the friendship between Jefferson and Lafayette is not nearly as close or as obvious as the author wants it to be appear to those who judge a book by its title and cover, and aside from very limited times, the two simply did not interact in a way that was profound and impactful compared to their relationships with others.  It would be easy to celebrate the friendship of Lafayette and Vergennes, but French history isn't a big selling point in the United States, or Washington and Lafayette but that has already been explored by several historians.  So we have this. This book is a pretty hefty one at six parts, 63 chapters, and more than 450 pages.  The author has clearly done his research on the revolutionary era as it relates to the writings and experiences of both Jefferson and Lafayette.  The first part of the book, quite naturally, looks at the backgrounds of both Lafayette and Jefferson as both deal with the combination of privilege and the early loss of their fathers and make their way in the world.  After that the second part of the book shows how the paths of both Jefferson and Lafayette converge for the first time as Lafayette comes to America to serve as a volunteer officer for the Continental Army while Jefferson serves as the governor for Virginia.  Then the third part of the book looks at their first interactions as Lafayette leads a force in Virginia that seeks to protect the rather non-military Jefferson in the face of British invasion.  After that the book moves to Paris where the next set of chapters discusses both Lafayette and Jefferson in their time as Parisians in late ancien regime France as both are involved in diplomatic efforts.  The fifth part of the book then discusses the careers of both Jefferson and Lafayette in France from 1786-1789 as revolution approaches and both seek to provide a more moderate solution to France's political and economic woes than ends up taking place.  The sixth and last part of the book then looks at the diverging paths that happen after 1790, as Lafayette spends years in prison as a political prisoner while Jefferson is elected to various offices, and where both end up meeting again in 1824 as elder statesmen from a bygone generation.   Is this a bad book?  No, not at all.  There are many occasions where it feels like the author is grasping at straws and supposing interactions that simply have not made it into the historical record to show Jefferson and Lafayette as having worked together, especially in their time in France.  And for large portions of the book Jefferson and Lafayette have their stories told in parallel fashion with a bit of interaction between them but with even the author recognizing that other relationships were more close and more important to both men.  Lafayette was never as close to Jefferson as Madison or Monroe were, and Jefferson, even as an important American, did not share the sort of experiences that Lafayette shared with Washington and other leaders because of their shared military experiences.  Yet in some ways this book works as well as it does as a history of the American and French Revolutions, and a look at why one was generally successful while the other was a scarcely mitigated disaster because of the very different experiences of both men in the face of both revolutions.  Lafayette, for all of his vanity and ego, and Jefferson, for all of his self-deception, were the sorts of figures who should be viewed as being worthwhile figures in any nation's political dramas, and the fact that Lafayette was viewed as a hero by the Americans despite their Francophobe tendencies while nearly being killed by his own radical countrymen and then imprisoned by Austria and Prussia when he tried to escape for his life tells you what you need to know about why it is foolish to support revolutionary leftists.  That is, moreover, a very prescient contemporary lesson.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    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 h 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 his motivation was revenge for the death of his own father, but didn't come to light until much later, and was hardly satisfied by even an ironic end to one of the British generals. Still, through all of that, the Marquis' adoption of General Washington as a father figure and his ingratiation with soldiers and politicians alike made him invaluable to the American cause and an able representative of the French monarchy in North America. Jefferson, however, shied from the Revolution on the battlefields and in the Congress, with the Marquis's military leadership saving his legacy more than once near the end of the war. Through the military campaigns in Virginia and North Carolina, they became acquainted, and Jefferson's appointment as a diplomat to France after the American war sealed their friendship. Along the way to his attempts to bring about reform in France from inside the system, with Jefferson's moral support, Lafayette tried to walk a fine line between loyalty to the monarchy and his desired role as reformer, considered revolutionary by that monarchy, that he set out to be from his political beginnings. With all of the factionalization, upheaval, and return to monarchy between the French Revolution and the rise of Napoleon, the Marquis tried to stay right in the middle of it, even when Jefferson offered him the opportunity to retreat to the new Louisiana Purchase (from France). He did successfully withdraw from military activities and eventually settled into his political role as something of a statesman. After several years of travel in the expanding United States and his return to France just in time for the 1830 revolution, the Marquis renewed his opposition to the monarchy re-established there and was essentially exiled from government prominence in attempts to silence his revolutionary agitating, though he still spoke to gatherings and groups on his beliefs in liberal policies, many of which he developed through copious correspondence with Jefferson. By the time of the Marquis' death in 1834, he had outlived Jefferson by almost eight years. His early eagerness, his interest in the American cause, and his lifelong statesmanship brought him into friendship not only with Thomas Jefferson but also with George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and many of the other statespersons of their generation. Restricting this "biography of a friendship" to just the Marquis and Jefferson is a bit unfair, as they both built quite a network of shared acquaintances, friendships, and alliances over their lifetimes. However, this was an insightful exploration of that particular friendship between the Marquis and Jefferson that drove so many events of their individual histories and their roles in their respective, and each others', countries.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Scott Martin

    (Audiobook) (3.5 Stars) This comparative biography looks at the lives of two men who played significant roles in the establishing of the American Republic, and whose paths crossed in those critical years right after America won its war of independence and was trying to figure out its identity. Having read other books about Jefferson, I got more out of the insights into Lafayette and his life. For the American reader, it is interesting to note that Lafayette, as revered as he is in America for hi (Audiobook) (3.5 Stars) This comparative biography looks at the lives of two men who played significant roles in the establishing of the American Republic, and whose paths crossed in those critical years right after America won its war of independence and was trying to figure out its identity. Having read other books about Jefferson, I got more out of the insights into Lafayette and his life. For the American reader, it is interesting to note that Lafayette, as revered as he is in America for his efforts to work with Washington and other Revolutionary War figures to enable France to effectively support the colonists against England, was not seen as such in France. While popular for his various exploits in America, his actions during the French Revolution and the aftermath did not leave him in good stead in France. He eventually rehabilitated his reputation, but Lafayette was more a hero to us than to his native France. For those reading about Jefferson, perhaps the strongest part of this work is his work in France while he was an ambassador. Surprisingly, Jefferson, for all of his brilliance, never was a good speaker or writer in French, curious, given his posting as an Ambassador to that country, which he would support to his political determent in the 1790s. Overall, this is a solid, if not spectacular work about two key figures in the early days of America. More can be gleamed about each man in other works. The narrator does a decent job with the material, which is not too dry, but this is not one of the great comparative bios out on the market. Worth a read, but probably not more than once.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Greg

    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 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 the Friendship that Helped Forge Two Nations”, I assumed that the book would be about the relationship between them, perhaps an exploration of shared political philosophies. Unfortunately, I was mistaken. The book, though well-written and thoroughly researched, is more of a dual biography of the two men. They don’t share much correspondence between them and they aren’t even living in the same city until the last quarter of the book. Even then, they are busy with their own endeavors, Jefferson as the diplomat to the French court and Lafayette as a professional celebrity. It’s not clear, at least from the book, that they are particularly close, much less brothers. The book was interesting and provided good overviews of each of their (separate) lives. It was well written and had good notes for further investigation. Unfortunately, it simply didn’t live up to its subtitle. But, if you’re looking for two good, short biographies on Lafayette and Jefferson and want to read them at the same time, this is the book for you!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brett's Books

    I recommend this book to learn more about the Marguis de Lafayette (MDL), which is fascinating, especially the period after the American Revolution when he fell from grace during the French Revolution. The book is well written and readable, despite it's length; however I have a couple of critiques. First, despite the title, it's obvious that the MDL and Jefferson did not have much of a friendship; Jefferson, not having wartime service in the Continental Army, didn't really get to know MDL until I recommend this book to learn more about the Marguis de Lafayette (MDL), which is fascinating, especially the period after the American Revolution when he fell from grace during the French Revolution. The book is well written and readable, despite it's length; however I have a couple of critiques. First, despite the title, it's obvious that the MDL and Jefferson did not have much of a friendship; Jefferson, not having wartime service in the Continental Army, didn't really get to know MDL until his time as French Ambassador, and then, only in passing. Its seems they were acquainted and of course, both thought much of each other's contributions to the American Cause, and owing to the social conventions of the period friendly; however, the author is really grasping at straws to build a "friendship." Second, the author's use of the term "enslaved person" when speaking of Jefferson's slaves (or slaves generally) must be some sort of politically correct buzz word, the author used the term so much it became annoying; perhaps the purpose of the term is lost on me, I thought "slave" was sufficiently terrible as to not need modification. Third, the exploration of Jefferson's sexual preferences, not sure why this needs to be explored, not sure I care in a book that is supposed to be about the friendship between Jefferson and MDL. Finally, Jefferson is an odd duck, he was a genius, but odd; for me, he demonstrates the good and bad of the enlightenment. In sum, worth reading, even with the minor annoyances aside.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Dan Dundon

    When I first started reading this book, I couldn’t understand why the author had linked Jefferson and Lafayette. While Lafayette played a significant role in the American Revolution, Jefferson played a relatively minimal role. The two didn’t even know one another very well at this point in their lives. It wasn’t until the second half of the book when the action moved to France that I began to understand the connection. Lafayette and Jefferson collaborated on an important document that was to be t When I first started reading this book, I couldn’t understand why the author had linked Jefferson and Lafayette. While Lafayette played a significant role in the American Revolution, Jefferson played a relatively minimal role. The two didn’t even know one another very well at this point in their lives. It wasn’t until the second half of the book when the action moved to France that I began to understand the connection. Lafayette and Jefferson collaborated on an important document that was to be the basis of the coming French Revolution. After reading the book, I will admit to revising my opinion of both men. I have a great deal more respect for Lafayette not for what he did in America but because of what he and his family endured in France. The Revolution he attempted to lead quickly spiraled out of control. By contrast, my opinion of Jefferson was diminished. His public and private hypocrisy with regard to slavery was especially disturbing. His blackmailing of Sally Heming to get her to return to America by promising freedom for her children was reprehensible. Jefferson, who fathered at least one child with Heming, left it to his daughter to free Heming from slavery after he died. Slavery was the principle difference between the two men. The fact that they could remain friends despite this difference perhaps provides the best lesson to be drawn from this book. Despite our difference, we can still work together to create a better world for the next generation.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    I received a free copy of this book from the author. I had the opportunity to review or not. One of the fun things about reading the biographies of legendary historical figures is when the historian brings them to life. We learn about our founding fathers through history books filled with facts, which can be interesting. But historical biographers show us the man or woman who they really are. We see their fame and foibles, strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. Mr. Chaffin brings two such I received a free copy of this book from the author. I had the opportunity to review or not. One of the fun things about reading the biographies of legendary historical figures is when the historian brings them to life. We learn about our founding fathers through history books filled with facts, which can be interesting. But historical biographers show us the man or woman who they really are. We see their fame and foibles, strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. Mr. Chaffin brings two such historical figures from flat, white history pages into real people that are rounded into men we can feel and understand. He even makes us understand the conflict that Benedict Arnold experienced that turned him into a traitor. And he was only one of figures brought to life through his research and talent. I recently traveled to Washington’s beloved Mount Vernon where he became a flesh and blood man to me. The book reinforces that image and helped me understand the humanity of LaFayette, his friend and cohort. I loved the book and admired the ability of Mr. Chaffin to make them real characters that felt fear, had ambition, loved their families and wanted more from their country. If you love history, want to know more about the people who made history, you will enjoy this book. Find out who Washington and LaFayette really were.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Sousa

    The sometimes parallel, sometimes intersecting, lives of Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette are brought together in dramatic fashion in Revolutionary Brothers: Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis de Lafayette, and the Friendship that Helped Forge Two Nations, a comprehensive and fascinating study of two men who shaped history. Living in the United States, I had learned a good deal about Thomas Jefferson through my history classes but knew very little about the Marquis de Lafayette. This defi The sometimes parallel, sometimes intersecting, lives of Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette are brought together in dramatic fashion in Revolutionary Brothers: Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis de Lafayette, and the Friendship that Helped Forge Two Nations, a comprehensive and fascinating study of two men who shaped history. Living in the United States, I had learned a good deal about Thomas Jefferson through my history classes but knew very little about the Marquis de Lafayette. This deficit was corrected, and my education substantially enhanced by this captivating dual biography. Author Tom Chaffin does an excellent job of capturing the histories of both men from their formative years, through their association during and after the Revolutionary War, during Jefferson’s ambassadorship in France, and to their final meeting at Monticello. Also interspersed throughout the book were intriguing tidbits about such luminaries as Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and George Washington. Although the book provides excellent biographies of both men, their interaction does not, in my estimation, conjure up the phrase “revolutionary brothers” in the familial sense (as the subtitle implies). Instead, the “brotherly” association here is more of the “common cause” type of relationship. That trivial issue aside, the book, while lengthy, is extremely well-researched and well-written, reading as smoothly as any novel. Revolutionary Brothers is a valuable and worthy addition to the histories of these remarkable men. Note: I received an ARC of Revolutionary Brothers: Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis de Lafayette, and the Friendship that Helped Forge Two Nations from NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press. The above is my honest review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tawney

    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 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 get more trade for American goods. French business will make that extremely hard. Lafayette helps as best he can. The relationship between the two men is the central point. There is no need for descriptions of trade negotiations. This makes the book an easy read. There are plenty of human interest details, the sort of nuggets you tell friends. And, yes, it is a sort of duel biography of LaFayette and Jefferson because they don't work together until later in their lives, but knowing the background helps to understand their later actions as well as the world they lived in.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jill Elizabeth

    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 im 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 important men in our history without spending 100 pages describing their favorite breakfast foods or how they cut their toenails. On the other, the story behind their relationship isn't a huge part of the book, and that felt odd to me given how it was billed and titled. There are solid biographies here, at a level of detail I found appropriate, but not as much story-behind-the-story as I was hoping to see...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Trick Wiley

    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 me 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 men!! If it had not been for Lafayette and the French we might still be under British rule. I know there were others to do their part in this war but they were a very important part you could also say Lafayette was a American in all rights for what he did and believed in!! Very,very good read!! The research that went into this book can not be over looked to me a lot of time and energy went into this story! Very easy to follow considering there are two main characters plus the rest of the men that they encountered along their way!!

  25. 5 out of 5

    RJ

    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 sta 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 started with a very cold winter which led to misery, then a drought leading to starvation, then eventually demanding mobs, the beheading of Louis , terror, Napoleon, etc. Makes one concerned about the present day problem of climate change and what it can lead to. Deniers beware !😲

  26. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    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 H 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 History Reader Sweepstakes.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Lambe

    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.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dennis Hogan

    Finished Revolutionary Brothers: Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis de Lafayette, and the Friendship that Helped Forge Two Nations by Tom Chaffin, an account of the lives of two famous 18th century revolutionaries from letters and historical records. Although Jefferson’s story is well known, the author provides additional insights, particularly his time in France and his role advising Lafayette there. The real find for me was illumination of Lafayette’s life before he became part of George Washington Finished Revolutionary Brothers: Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis de Lafayette, and the Friendship that Helped Forge Two Nations by Tom Chaffin, an account of the lives of two famous 18th century revolutionaries from letters and historical records. Although Jefferson’s story is well known, the author provides additional insights, particularly his time in France and his role advising Lafayette there. The real find for me was illumination of Lafayette’s life before he became part of George Washington’s staff and his life in France after the American Revolution. A very solid history lesson!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Edy

    A great book. Because recently I had read so many books about important figures of the American Revolutionary War period, much of what was presented about Jefferson was not new. However, I didn't know much about Lafayette. Both of these men were so important in the revolutions that occurred in their respective countries. I did not know but found it fascinating that although it wasn't enacted, Jefferson actually wrote a constitution for France and gave it to Lafayette. Both men made enormous sacr A great book. Because recently I had read so many books about important figures of the American Revolutionary War period, much of what was presented about Jefferson was not new. However, I didn't know much about Lafayette. Both of these men were so important in the revolutions that occurred in their respective countries. I did not know but found it fascinating that although it wasn't enacted, Jefferson actually wrote a constitution for France and gave it to Lafayette. Both men made enormous sacrifices to aid the American cause. This is a book well worth reading.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Konet

    This was a decent read and learning about this unlikely friendship was intriguing because I didn't know a lot about Lafayette, just that they had met at some point. However, this book was more of biography of two men in the same book with some overlapping segments. It was clear the author did his research on both men because it was well written. I skim read most of this because it did not completely keep my interest the whole time but still recommended. This will not be at the top of my list to r This was a decent read and learning about this unlikely friendship was intriguing because I didn't know a lot about Lafayette, just that they had met at some point. However, this book was more of biography of two men in the same book with some overlapping segments. It was clear the author did his research on both men because it was well written. I skim read most of this because it did not completely keep my interest the whole time but still recommended. This will not be at the top of my list to re-read anytime soon.

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