I Wanna Be Literated! 110

I Wanna Be Literated! 110

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

A critical evaluation of Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell.

It’s funny how the American Revolutionary War is taking America by storm now – much like the revolutionary war actually did back when it happened. I’m sure this is mostly due to the Hamilton musical which I observe with a very suspicious eye. I might not know much about books, but I know a thing or two about music and Hamilton sounds like amateur-ish rap sung by a white junior-high teacher to his students. It’s painful and embarrassing, so I will have to abstain from Hamilton and focus instead on Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell. I bet she’s patting herself on the back for releasing this book while the iron is hot.

As Vowell says early on in the book, the subject of Lafayette is an interesting one because he’s a foreigner who’s so revered that when he came back to tour the US in the 1820s, it was sheer Lafayette-mania! In a country whose national pastime should be arguing, people unanimously came together to celebrate this man.

Like its predecessor, The Wordy Shipmates, Lafayette (as I’m going to shorten it) is a beautifully written historical account on its subject that is ingeniously told and hilarious, and quite possibly a book that will bridge the gap between history buffs and people too overwhelmed or bored with the subject to approach it. The only surprising drawback to this book is how little it actually is about Lafayette and more about the battles and men that helped bring about the American Revolution. There’s some peppering here and there with Lafayette’s reactions to these men and events, but his presence is always just looming in the background and never takes center stage. Oh well…

Lafayette approaches history with such skill that it’s very powerful stuff, and recommend to everyone ready to laugh with (and at) the founding fathers. [OLLIE OTTOMAN]




Lafayette in the Somewhat United States is available now. Buy it here on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Lafayette-Somewhat-United-States-Vowell/dp/1594631743/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1464190566&sr=8-1&keywords=sarah+vowell+lafayette+in+the+somewhat+united+states

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