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Reviewed by Jon Michael Miller for Readers' Favorite
In the wonderfully conceived and magnificently presented Liberty-Loving Lafayette: How 'America’s Favorite Fighting Frenchman' Helped Win Our Independence, Dorothea Jensen presents her theme in visuals and verse, alternating them page by page as she traces Gilbert’s (Lafayette’s) dedicated involvement in America’s Revolutionary War. The visuals are mostly color prints of classic museum paintings of persons and places in the full regalia of the time. The fashion styles are nothing but mind-blowing not only of Lafayette but of King George III, Marie Antoinette, King Louis XVI, and many others. There are also battle scenes with everything chronologically presented. On opposite pages are poems consisting of mostly iambic, rhymed couplets that often raise a smile with some intrusions of modern slang (bro, good to go) that will appeal to the present generation.
If I were a high school teacher presenting American history, this amazing volume would be center front on my desk regarding not only Lafayette but a collection of the war’s other players; Washington, Silas Dean, Rochambeau, and Benedict Arnold. And battles too—Brandywine, Gloucester, Barren Hill, Monmouth, Newport Bay, and Yorktown. And when my students finished with the pictures and verse, I’d refer them to the glossary and scholarly notes at the end. It’s as clear as the Liberty Bell that Dorothea Jensen breathes the history of our colonial period, and her reverence for and joy in the subject will inspire anyone who opens her superb presentation. Besides the history, Liberty-Loving Lafayette by Dorothea Jensen is a joy for the senses that will bring the foundation of our liberty marching proudly to the fore.