• Hero of Two Worlds

  • The Marquis de Lafayette in the Age of Revolution
  • By: Mike Duncan
  • Narrated by: Mike Duncan
  • Length: 17 hrs and 20 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (2,530 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling author of The Storm Before the Storm and host of the Revolutions podcast comes the thrilling story of the Marquis de Lafayette’s lifelong quest to defend the principles of liberty and equality.

Few in history can match the revolutionary career of the Marquis de Lafayette. Over 50 incredible years at the heart of the Age of Revolution, he fought courageously on both sides of the Atlantic. He was a soldier, statesman, idealist, philanthropist, and abolitionist.

As a teenager, Lafayette ran away from France to join the American Revolution. Returning home a national hero, he helped launch the French Revolution, eventually spending five years locked in dungeon prisons. After his release, Lafayette sparred with Napoleon, joined an underground conspiracy to overthrow King Louis XVIII, and became an international symbol of liberty. Finally, as a revered elder statesman, he was instrumental in the overthrow of the Bourbon Dynasty in the Revolution of 1830.

From enthusiastic youth to world-weary old age, from the pinnacle of glory to the depths of despair, Lafayette never stopped fighting for the rights of all mankind. His remarkable life is the story of where we come from and an inspiration to defend the ideals he held dear. 

©2021 Mike Duncan (P)2021 PublicAffairs
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Dear Listener,

What drew me to the Marquis de Lafayette?
"While producing the Revolutions podcast series, the Marquis de Lafayette kept showing up over and over again. From his teenage entry into the American Revolution in 1777 all the way through his critical role in the Revolution of 1830 as a 72-year-old, he was an active participant in the most dramatic moments in a pivotal epoch of world history. Biographers and historians tend to focus on his youthful exploits, but once I grasped the breadth and depth of his revolutionary career, I wanted to tell the full story of his almost impossibly eventful life." –Mike Duncan, author of Hero of Two Worlds

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I’m a big Mike Duncan Podcast Fan, but…

…maybe this one he should have someone else narrate. I know he has tried hard to learn french pronunciations, but he would have been better to use the American pronunciations. He mangles the characters’ names so badly that I can’t even decipher them. I had no idea who he was talking about. I am a person who speaks both french and english. Unfortunately, Mike’s pronunciation is neither and I found it unlistenable. I returned the book without finishing it.

12 people found this helpful

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Thrillingly storytelling — brilliant narration

This is just great. Mike Duncan really knows how to assemble a compelling story and with Lafayette he has an amazing subject with which to work. All listeners of The History of Rome and Revolutions podcasts — as well as readers of The Storm Before The Storm — know the joy of Mike Duncan guiding them through epic, operatic moments in western history. Mike Duncan has reintroduced the Marquis de Lafayette for a whole new generation, bringing him to life with all his passions, contradictions and hypocrisies as the implacable Hero of Two Worlds.

10 people found this helpful

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Brillian Analysis. Brilliant Performance

Mike Duncan is the best there is at what he does. Nobody writes better history. Nobody reads that history out loud better.

Hearing an author who can perform their own book so well is a rare treat. If this is your first Mike Duncan book, you are in for a great time!

This time, Duncan focuses his talents on the Marquis de Lafayette (yes, the same guy from the Broadway show, Hamilton). Lafayette was a pivotal figure in the American AND French Revolutions, not to mention several later revolutions. Lafayette had one of the most storied lives in history, being close friends with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamton, James Madison, nearly every king and Queen of France in his lifetime, and most leaders of the French Revolution. His personal relationship with so many historical figures makes this book a sweeping history lesson, as well as an exciting adventure. He is also notable for being so ahead of his time in his worldviews, a man born to an aristocratic family, under a king and queen, who devoted his life to freedom, pushing both to advance democracy AND to end slavery, putting him well ahead of even his American friends.

Great man. Great Book. Fun to listen to.

Buy it! Buy it now!
You won't regret it.

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Simply outstanding

One of the best nonfiction audiobooks I’ve listened to in years. No surprise to me since I’ve been listening to the author’s outstanding podcast for years. This is laser focused on Lafayette narrative history with great narrative drive. It would help the reader to have some context about French political & economic history, but that is not necessary to enjoy & to learn much from this book.

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Duncan is Duncan

Duncan is a great narrator and mostly a good storyteller. His constant need to moralize and place a 2021 world view on a man living 200-250 years ago says a lot about him.

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Excellent

A very well-told account of a fascinating life, near unreal in its grand scope

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Fantastically told story packed with good info

An entertaining biography from history that I found myself constantly finding time and reasons to listen more to. The writing isn't at all bogged down by stuffy detail or dry fact listing, instead weaves the historical accounts into a narrative that is easily followed along and the important details more memorable in the mind.

2 people found this helpful

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Lafayette a name I knew but now will not forget

Loved the book, loved that Mike Duncan was able to read his own work. Simply wonderful description of the life of Lafayette.

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Astonishingly well done

Incredible overview of both historic events and people on two continents. I knew Lafayette was important, but I didn't realize the full extent and role he played. This book has corrected that oversight.

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An Intricate and Personal Story Set Within an Often Simplified and Grandiose Era

Duncan’s “Hero of Two Worlds” succeeds on a variety of fronts, but the most notable of these is the novel’s ability to simultaneously exist as an enthralling account of both the American and French revolutions, and the story of a simple man’s life; flaws, failures and shortcoming notwithstanding. Duncan’s skill as a veteran podcaster shines through here, with his witty commentary and perfectly tuned inflection never once allowing the listener to become disengaged with the story. An excellent listen, an excellent book, and nothing less than what long-time fans expect from Mr. The History of Rome.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Clay Baker
  • 07-28-22

Excellent

So nice to hear a generally upbeat tale about a real hero who was, as real people go, incredibly good and honourable. Even if countless others got killed or murdered/executed around him, and even if he was betrayed umpteen times. Thank you Mike Duncan for presenting this story in such an accessible fashion. Very entertaining if saddening as it reminds us of the true horrors that humans can inflict on one another by way of their habit of mistaking paths to terrible evils for roads to bright futures.

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  • PLaurent
  • 06-27-22

Great book and well read

An excellent rendition and wonderful account of Lafayette. There are moments that I was almost moved to tears

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-24-22

Absolutely perfect

The hours breeze by way too fast when listening to Mike Duncan's voice.
Absolutely Perfect.

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  • Marni
  • 08-28-22

Incredible historic times made real

A detailed review of one man's life and journey through incredible times. Duncan brings to life tumultuous times by going deep into the life of one man who stood by his principles as the world was in flux. I thoroughly enjoyed this deep dive and the way historical events were seen through the personal lense of La Fayette.

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  • Linda M. Cockburn
  • 12-29-21

Mike nails it again.

Another superbly told and gripping read from the author of Storm before the Storm and host of legendary podcasts the History of Rome and Revolutions. Duncan's facility for narrative and ability to summarise complex history in an accessible way make all his writing entertaining and educational. Another highly recommended effort.

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  • Susan New Zealand
  • 10-29-21

Loved it

I love narration by the author. Pithy prose. Enjoyed all the extra context, especially around his wife and family.

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  • Nigel Jarvis
  • 10-09-21

A man who tried to hold the sane centre

As our own era becomes more and more polarised, Lafayette stands as a helpful example of someone who tried to hold the sane centre.

Mike Duncan makes history accessible like few others, so he is an excellent guide.

Enjoy!

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  • Samantha
  • 10-04-21

History par excellence

Mike Duncan, with his unique and invigorating mixture of detached empathy, makes Lafayette literally jump off the dusty bookshelf and into your imagination.

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  • Kasia
  • 09-10-21

Great story of an extraordinary figure

Great biography by the producer of the famous History of Rome and Revolutions podcasts. Great to hear how he weaves ideas from those two extraordinary podcasts into the story of someone who played a part in some of the influential moments of European and US history.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-06-21

another incredible book by Mike Duncan

Mike's ability to bring the history alive is incredible, he does so with balance, precision and passion. This book was able to show how incredible Lafayette was, without shying away from his many flaws.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-04-21

What a rollercoaster life!

Loved it, fascinating from start to finish. Lafayette had such an action packed life and met all the key players in his era - Washington, Hamilton, Louis XVI, Napoleon, Louis XVIII, even Simon Bolivar got a few letters.... Plus he was neck deep in 3 different revolutions. There's even a prison break subplot. Sometimes I had to stop to remind myself this was real rather than fictional....

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  • Tomas
  • 09-03-21

Just Fantastic!

If you've listened to Mike before on his podcasts you'll love this, it's more of the same but perhaps even better with it focused on a individual more than a event or empire. If you've never heard of Mike and just have an interest in history, strap yourself in for a fantastic and emotional journey through the life of one of historys most famous revolutionaries.

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  • Paul Leahy
  • 09-02-21

Long awaited and worth every minute

This is a wonderful book. Mike’s words had me in tears. Enjoyed it thoroughly. Recommend it highly!