• 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
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Americas
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (2,182 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

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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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.

5 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.

5 people found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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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.

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Fantastic

Mike Duncan tells an amazing story about one of the most important people in American and French history. The story is well written and keep you listening. Amazingly, it isn't romanticized. It shows that Lafayette's life and choices were not all prefect by modern standards. But his character is extremely strong and regrets difficult choices he would rather have not made. Highly recommend.

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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.

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Very nice book

This was a great read. Anyone who’s a fan of Mike’s podcast will enjoy reading/listening to this book.

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  • Graham Bell
  • 02-10-22

Just a great account of a truly great man.

Just a great account of a truly great man. Being a big Mike Duncan, I didn't expect anything less and probably got more than I expected.
Listen and enjoy.

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  • Johan Henri Vervoort
  • 10-07-21

Entertaining & informative, a must

Mike Duncan wrote an absolutely interesting book about a household name for me since visiting Paris as a child and later of course visiting the USA... Not an easy challenge, but big thanks for bringing this book to the light

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  • David Mrakovcic
  • 09-16-21

Great biography of great men

Impresive lifestory of historical celebrity. Concise, interesting and well produced audiobook. Recommended to all lovers of history

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  • Jannes Klaas
  • 09-14-21

Mike Duncan does it again

If you like Revolutions and History of Rome, this is for you. It’s like a special season of his podcasts, but focused on a single person. Fascinating, in depth and easy to digest. I learned a lot. Brilliant work

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-12-21

A Hero of Two Mediums

Mike is probably best known for his work as a history podcaster, with his very popular The History of Rome and ongoing Revolutions podcasts. But he has very successfully navigated the path from telling a half hour weekly synopsis of a historical time period to writing a compelling and coherent story about a fascinating historical figure, whilst keeping many of the aspects that make his podcasts so compelling: so well-paced, often quite funny, and with a constant eye on effectively drawing out the historical parallels with our current situation. An excellent job Mike - and of course - perfectly read!

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  • David.L
  • 09-09-21

Great listen

He truly is incredible, a man who truly gives all to the people. 👍
This Lafayette chap isn't that bad either 🤣

On a serious note the book is beautifully scripted by Mike Duncan, the way the story is told is like something out of fiction.
Well done 👏

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  • Davidof
  • 09-07-21

Mike Duncan delivers.

If you enjoy his Revolutions podcast, you're in for a treat. I think I only now can fully appreciate the remarkable person that Lafayette was and the role he played in the development of the modern tradition of liberty.

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  • S Ellis
  • 09-07-21

Excellent audio-listening

Mike Duncan is a thoughtful and compassionate historian who takes the time to explain the background of each major point he makes. His true power is in his calm and mellow voice- it makes for very easy listening and explains why his great History of Rome and Revolutions podcast is so popular. Having listened to both, this feels like a return to some of the greatest hits of the Revolutions podcast, but the excellent throughline on Lafayette gives it context and clarity. Recommended.

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  • Ashley slocombe
  • 09-07-21

Mike Duncan at his best

A great person in history's life told in an interesting and captivating way. I highly recommend.

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  • James Coughlan
  • 09-01-21

Fantastic

I absolutely loved it. Both the story and overall performance of the book was fantastic. It did not take me long to finish as I was so enthralled.

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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!

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  • Brendan Slaven
  • 09-01-21

Totally Fascinating

It’s Mike Duncan, enough said. Amazed by how instrumental Lafayette was across the history of so many countries across such a long time. One of those characters who pops up in so many stories, like a Winston Churchill or William Marshall. Totally excellent!