Lafayette in the Somewhat United States
1 journaler for this copy...
I've enjoyed many of Vowell's books - my favorite is Assassination Vacation, but they're all good.
I enjoyed this book so much that it's studded with too many quotable bits for me to cite. Some of my favorites include remarks about Lafayette's extreme youth and puppyish enthusiasm (he was only 19 when he first met Washington, something I don't recall my history teachers ever mentioning), quips about the fancy French uniforms ("as if stepping out of a Tchaikovsky ballet directed buy Wes Anderson"), and the nice homage to badass book-seller Henry Knox, who parlayed his book-learning into an awesome and history-changing trek from Fort Ticonderoga to Dorchester Heights with captured cannons and ammunition.
There's a good feel for the many twists and turns and near-misses that resulted in the eventual US victory (or, more accurately, the French victory and the British let's-give-up-and-go-home), with homage to some characters and serious snarkiness about others. And Vowell's visits to various historical locations include a battle with one of her drivers, who's addicted to GPS and can't get his head around locations that require "just up the road from the church"-type directions.
My one regret about the book is that it came out before the musical "Hamilton"; I'd love to hear Vowell's remarks about that version of Lafayette...
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
[See other recent releases in MA here.]