They began as courtiers in a hierarchy of privilege, but history remembers them as patriot-citizens in a commonwealth of equals. 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 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.
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Paul Revere rode from Boston on the night of April 18, 1775, to warn the colonists that the British were going to march on Lexington and Concord. The French Revolution evolved from protests against the ancien regime of the Bourbons into a revolution far more radical than that of America. George Washington fought in both the French and Indian and the Revolutionary wars, and was his country's first President. The Marquis de Lafayette was a French aristocrat who joined the Continental Army and served with distinction under George Washington.