Read For Liberty and Glory: Washington, Lafayette, and Their Revolutions by James R. Gaines Online


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 jusOn 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 just how deeply intertwined they actually were. Their leaders, George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette, were often seen as father and son, but their relationship, while close, was every bit as complex as the long, fraught history of the French-American alliance. Vain, tough, ambitious, they strove to shape their characters and records into the form they wanted history to remember. James R. Gaines provides fascinating insights into these personal transformations and is equally brilliant at showing the extraordinary effect of the two "freedom fighters" on subsequent history....

Title : For Liberty and Glory: Washington, Lafayette, and Their Revolutions
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780393061383
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 533 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

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

  • Jerome
    2019-05-05 23:09

    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 always easy to understand, as well as concerned with the welfare of his country and willing to make great sacrifices for it (and a bit quirky and blundering as well). Lafayette comes off as an impulsive adventurer with visions of glory, willing to disobey direct orders and even consider quitting whenever things are not to his liking or there is no action to be had. While more of an adventurer than an ardent believer in any sort of lofty cause, Lafayette did have a certain degree of ideological commitment, Gaines argues. While Gaines does acknowledge the friendship and respect between the two, he does not argue that it was any kind of surrogate father-son relationship.Although the narrative structure is a bit cumbersome, there is little analysis, many parts of the narrative deal with topics like the political infighting within the Continental Army or seemingly pointless trivia, and Gaines’ rendition of the revolutions often feature very little of either Lafayette or Washington.A nuanced, cohesive, and absorbing volume overall.

  • Michael Ladusau
    2019-05-01 23:23

    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.

  • Gerry Connolly
    2019-04-22 02:25

    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.

  • Thomas Irelan
    2019-05-22 20:32

    An Enlightening ReadAn excellent read. The parts about revolutionary France were a bit hard to folllow given my lack of background knowledge in this area. However, it is fascinating to learn about this and Lafayette's role in it

  • Karen Linton
    2019-05-23 03:28


  • Maduck831
    2019-04-28 02:27

    “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…” (90) “Johann Ewald, captain of a company of German jaegers, was among those who tipped his hat to his ill-fed, barefoot enemies. “With what soldiers in the world could one do what was done by these men…Deny the best disciplined soldiers of Europe what is due them and they will run away in droves….But from this one can perceive what an enthusiasm – which these poor fellows call ‘Liberty’ – can do”” (162) “Especially after dark, the Palais – Royal was a kind of pedigree-free zone: Was that a great lady passing by, or a well-dressed courtesan? (Sometimes, of course, the difference was technical.) That somber fellow across the way, was he a parlementarian or a pimp? Everything was for sale at the Palais – Royal, from lemonade to sex to subsidized diatribes by literary lowlife. Police rarely invaded property of the king’s relatives, so everything forbidden was safe here, censored truths and scurrilous libelles alike.” (182) “Two centuries later, there were still people (at the far margin) who contended that the Illuminati ran both the French and American revolutions. The evidence suggests at least they would have if they could have. Just about the time when the Society of Universal Harmony was breaking up, however, the Illuminati were banned in Bavaria, and the group appears to have died out completely by 1789.” (211) “Both France and the United States faced their inevitable reckoning with fiscal exhaustion in the summer of 1786. On August 20, Louis’s controller-general Calonne brought him the news that the royal treasury was as good as bankrupt, which was the American Revolution’s ultimate gift to France. Just as finance minister Turgot had warned in 1785, the 1.3 billion livres cost of that war (not counting interest on the new debt required to cover it) had delivered the final blow to the French financial system.” (215) “Indeed, many assumed that the Articles and the Continental Congress itself were simply wartime necessities that would expire with the peace. The people of Maryland called their state “the nation” as late as 1787, and in common usage, as it had been until very recently for George Washington, a man’s “country” was still his state.” (217) “On the subject of taxes it read in part: “People will doubtless pay more – but who? Only those who were not paying enough; they will pay what they owe according to a just proportion, and nobody will be overburdened. Privileges will be sacrificed!...yes, justice demands it and need requires it. Would it be better to put more burdens on the non-privileged, the people?” (240) “The convention’s two most powerful delegates, Washington and Franklin, both had important reservations about the final draft, and both implored the convention to vote for it anyway. “I confess that I do not entirely approve this Constitution at present,” as Franklin put it, “but sire, I am not sure I shall never approve it: For, having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged…to change opinions even on important subjects….” (247) “Once elected, a president would never relinquish the office, Jefferson said, but would play foul, fix elections, whatever it took to keep himself in power. “Reflect on all the instances…of elective monarchies, and say if they do not give foundation for my fears.” (249) “All that was necessary to make America “a great and happy people,” he (Washington) said, were “harmony, honesty, industry and frugality…the four great and essential pillars of public felicity.” (271) “Perhaps the most notable fact of the speech was how many times Washington made references to the deity – not the religious God of worship, of course, but the Deist’s non-denominational…” (286) “Two weeks before the fall of the Bastille, he wrote to Jay: “This great crisis now being over, I shall not have matter interesting enough to trouble you with….” (313) “The revolution in France, he (Edmund Burke) concluded, would end in “madness, discord, vice, confusion, and unavailing sorrow.”” (333) “The man who had stated a decade earlier that his (Washington) “first wish” was that war could be “banished from the earth,” now exhorted his country never to “unsheathe the sword except in self-defense.” (418)

  • Jessica
    2019-05-10 22:38

    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 Amazon.comThe 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 and the young French General, the Marquis de Lafayette. While comparing these two men it also branches out to compare their respective countries and the revolutions that took place in them. The author makes much of the fact that the two men were very concerned with "liberty and glory". They both had strong ideas about freedom that they wished to uphold. (Lafayette was in fact an abolitionist) but also cared deeply about their personal reputation and the glory to be gained by their deeds.Both men were instrumental in the Revolutions of their countries, Lafayette being "the hero of two worlds" played a signifigant part in both the American and French Revolution. Gainer explores how the ideals Lafayette fought for in America were transplanted with him back to Paris but were not as close of a fit. He also explores Washington's personal feelings on not only the AMerican Revolution but in the role demanded of him as the first president.I liked very much learning about Lafayette. I had heard very little about him in school past the AMerican Revolution. I was totally unaware that he wrote the draft of the Declaration of the Rights of Men and Citizens! I feel like that is a huge gap in my history education that has now been rectified! I did feel that the book was more heavily involved with Lafayette than with Washington. Adrienne, Lafayette's wife, is mentioned several times whereas Martha Washington is only mentioned in passing. Although Washington did die first, the book ends with a epilouge that is almost entirely centered on Lafayette's portrayal in history and Washington seems sadly left out.On the whole however I found this book very interesting for someone who enjoys history. There is a lot of information about the formation of the American Government and the French Revolution besides the stories of these two men. For the price that Amazon is selling it at, its definetly worth picking up.

  • Jason , etc.
    2019-05-01 01:19

    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 revolutionary period and how their relationship and experience in the American Revolution shaped the the French Revolution(s). At 20, Lafayette sailed (on his own dime) to the aid of the colonists not long after the American Revolution began and did so in direct opposition to the French king. His character both on and off the battlefield was key in establishing his reputation on both sides of the world, but particularly in the eyes of Washington. The book contrasts what the concept of liberty meant to each of them and how those views colored their roles in the revolutions of their respective countries. This is a fascinating look at how their experiences fighting for freedom in one country impacted their approach to revolution in another.The book covers the American Revolution is mild detail, but does an outstanding job of discussing the French Revolution more vividly. Of the many things history affords us, few are more beneficial than perspective. Anyone who views today's politics and media with disgust need look no further than the 1790s to see what rank amateurs those now involved are. The French Revolution spiraled out of control and into pointless and unchecked violence due to the mob being whipped into frenzies by various factions who had wrapped themselves in cloaks of revolutionary principles. If nothing else, the book is an outstanding account of how different the two revolutions were, despite the superficial similarities of their respective goals.

  • Nathan
    2019-05-07 00:38

    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 crucial role that France played on the battlefield. The latter aspect is truly revelatory, briskly handled history. It is here that Gaines is most human, sympathetically recalling the horrors of Valley Forge and the massive odds against which America's first army fought.The former is rather less immediate; the ideological DNA of these sister revolutions is largely obvious, but not analyzed thoroughly here. This is perhaps because, by limiting his scope to the characters and philosophies of two individual characters, Gaines is forced to examine the broader philosophies at play only in general terms.Gaines then recounts the French Revolution, in detail enough, but not substantively enough. Having pinned his history to two figures, he is forced to retire one (Washington) somewhat awkwardly to the sidelines. The book sacrifices ambition for cohesiveness, too often reading like two undeveloped narratives rather than one complete narrative. Gains himself is a decent writer, but too convinced of the import of his thesis to spend much time developing it beyond the most rudimentary level. Wasted potential.

  • Michael Lunsford
    2019-04-22 02:10

    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 times with all of the names and locations surrounding the French Revolution as there is not much of a background or build up to the events. This is where I find the biggest fault in this work as I found myself a few times going to Wikipedia to get more information. I think people who are brushed up on the French Revolution would get more out of the book, but for others it may get your interested just enough to want to read up more on both revolutions. Another issue with the book I had is with the chronology of events, as it starts to break down and the author begins jumping back and forth especially toward the end of the book as if he may have been somewhat rushed to just get the book finished. What is clear is that a ton of research went into writing this work and the amount of detail following letters and people is impressive. The book does end up tying together nicely and ends on a good patriotic note. Recommended for the fair weather history buff or higher.

  • Aubrey Dustin
    2019-04-29 03:30

    “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 both of these great lives, as well as both of these revolutions. He deals particularly well with the motivations that drove these men to greatness and the attributes that made them great. This work also includes a section on the origin of U.S. Military doctrine and its founder, Friedrich von Steuben. His insight into the motivation of the American Soldier led him pioneer a unique philosophy of military leadership that is the foundation of the U.S. Military’s strength to this day. In his own words, “Citizen-Soldiers are motivated most powerfully not by fear but by love and confidence—love of their cause, confidence in their officers and in themselves.” This book is an epic of great leadership that cannot fail to benefit any study of the topic.

  • Michelle
    2019-04-22 19:11

    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 of the relationship, not just staying on the surface with the fabled "father-son" angle, and to the better of both men, I believe. The author did one of the better jobs I've read in recent years of exploring Lafayette's role in the French Revolution and what exactly went wrong. Definitely a worthwhile read. One of the more enjoyable things was a fun look at Beaumarchais, "The Marriage of Figaro", and a cross-dressing cavalry captain, and their impact on the American Revolution (pretty critical, incidentally, :-)

  • Mom
    2019-05-23 01:21

    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 across as fully human and yet much, much larger than life. What we owe to their courage and humanity and persistence is amazing. Wish I had known about my husband's family's connection to Lafayette and Washington--would have followed their tradition of using the names.

  • Gerald Curtis
    2019-05-07 03:19

    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 audio) gave me a completely new and expanded view of history and the intrigues that make it happen.

  • Christine
    2019-05-08 03:37

    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.

  • Dennis
    2019-05-22 00:38

    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!

  • Jay
    2019-05-10 03:32

    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
    2019-05-23 00:19

    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.

  • Colin
    2019-05-19 20:35

    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.

  • Grumpus
    2019-05-12 01:24

    This is based upon the audio download from []Narrated by: Norman Dietz

  • Gary Gudmundson
    2019-05-23 03:33

    YeahHis 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"

  • Kira
    2019-05-14 03:39

    I usually love most books about Washington, not so much this one.

  • Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
    2019-04-23 20:13

    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
    2019-04-24 23:21

    I liked Adopted Son better.

  • Scott
    2019-05-05 20:37

    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.

  • Art
    2019-05-01 22:13

    hard to get through, more about France than Washington. Lacked a thesis and a voice