Mike Duncan’s The Hero of Two Worlds is a biography of America’s favorite fighting Frenchman, Lafayette. Who, it turns out, was not just a sidekick for Hamilton, but a key figure in somewhere between three and five revolutions, depending on how you count. He’s a fascinating guy whose life takes him through fascinating periods of time, and Duncan has written a compellingly readable chronicle of his life.
The only thing that keeps me from a strong recommendation here is that you can also hear about those revolutions on Duncan’s phenomenal podcast, Revolutions, which is one of the best things you’ll put into your earhole. And if you’ve done that, then a lot of what’s in here is already familiar to you, and so all the new parts of the book are the connective tissue. This isn’t nothing—Lafayette’s tour of the United States is great and putting all the pieces together into a singular whole has value—but it maybe moves the book down a notch into just being a medium recommendation. But if for some reason you haven’t listened to Duncan’s podcast… well, you should remedy that, but also you should read the heck out of this book