What We’re Reading Lafayette in the Somewhat United States

Lafayette and the Somewhat United States book cover

Why did you choose to read this book?

I’m planning on attending the Durham Reads Together event, An Evening With Sarah Vowell, and I wanted to read one of her books first to get a feel for who she is and her perspective on history. It will be at the Carolina Theater on October 9th, 7:00 PM. It’s free!

What did you like about it?

I like that it made history accessible. Historical non-fiction is outside of my normal reading wheel house but the book is written as a narrative and she does a good job of giving an overview of the Revolutionary War through the story of Lafayette, which makes the story less intimidating.

Did it remind you of any other book, or a movie?

The obvious connection is to Hamilton: The Revolution, which I recently read as well. Lafayette was a character in the musical so I often thought about his role in Hamilton’s story as I read this book that was all about Lafayette’s story.

Who would you recommend the book to?

Anyone interested in American History, or just interested in Lafayette or Sarah Vowell. People who might be looking for a more accessible way to look at the relationship between the USA and France.

What would you pair this book with?

I would pair this book with one or two reckless acts of patriotism, and the Sarah Vowell event. And then maybe a re-watch of The Incredibles because Sarah Vowell voices the character Violet in the film.

About Courtney Bippley

Courtney is a Reference Librarian at the Main Campus Library. Her favorite genres are fantasy and science fiction. She loves dogs, coffee, and dancing.