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Extended Audio Sample Lafayette in the Somewhat United States Audiobook, by Sarah Vowell Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sarah Vowell Narrator: Bobby Cannavale, John Hodgman, John Slattery, Patton Oswalt, Sarah Vowell, Alexis Denisof, Stephanie March, Fred Armisen, Nick Offerman, others Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2015 ISBN: 9781442391093
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From the bestselling author of Assassination Vacation and Unfamiliar Fishes, a humorous account of the Revolutionary War hero Marquis de Lafayette—the one Frenchman we could all agree on—and an insightful portrait of a nation's idealism and its reality.

On August 16, 1824, an elderly French gentlemen sailed into New York Harbor and giddy Americans were there to welcome him. Or, rather, to welcome him back. It had been thirty years since the Revolutionary War hero the Marquis de Lafayette had last set foot in the United States, and he was so beloved that 80,000 people showed up to cheer for him. The entire population of New York at the time was 120,000.

Lafayette's arrival in 1824 coincided with one of the most contentious presidential elections in American history, Congress had just fought its first epic battle over slavery, and the threat of a Civil War loomed. But Lafayette, belonging to neither North nor South, to no political party or faction, was a walking, talking reminder of the sacrifices and bravery of the revolutionary generation and what they wanted this country to be. His return was not just a reunion with his beloved Americans, it was a reunion for Americans with their own astonishing singular past.

Lafayette in the Somewhat United States is a humorous and insightful portrait of the famed Frenchman, the impact he had on our young country, and his ongoing relationship with some of the instrumental Americans of the time, including George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and many more. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A book that’s informative, funny, and insightful.”

    Time

  • "[A] freewheeling history of the Revolutionary War…[when] Lafayette was for a time ‘a national obsession.’"

    New Yorker

  • “A portrait of [Lafayette] and his older contemporaries, with whom he found friendship, glory, and endless bickering.”

    Cosmopolitan

  • “Vowell’s rollicking, sly humor is the perfect spoonful of sugar to down with her intensive research and historical insight.”

    Huffington Post

  • “Vowell wanders through the history of the American Revolution and its immediate aftermath, using Lafayette’s involvement in the war as a map, and bringing us all along in her perambulations…Her prose sparkles.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Like her previous books, Lafayette strikes witty blows against the stodgy sorts of US history taught in classrooms.”

    Smithsonian

  • "[Vowell] turns the dusty chronicle of American history into a lively mash up and then, playing the history nerd, delivers her stories in her flat funny voice.”

    National Book Review

  • “An A-list of recognizable voices, including those of John Hodgman reading John Adams and Nick Offerman portraying George Washington, delivers dozens of quotes from our forefathers. Vowell deftly stirs together tones of satire, superlative research, and, yes, patriotism to make American history irresistible. If she isn’t a national treasure, she should be. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”

    AudioFile

  • “Vowell brings a learned, wiseacre hand to this work, full of its own brio and dash…that finds you embracing history.”

    Barnes&Noble.com

  • An Audible.com bestseller
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A 2015 Amazon Best Books of the Yearin Humor & Entertainment
  • A New York Times bestseller
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About the Author
Author Sarah Vowell

Sarah Vowell is a contributing editor for public radio’s This American Life and has written for Time, Esquire, GQ, Spin, Salon, and the Los Angeles Times, among others. She is the author of Radio On, Take the Cannoli, and The Partly Cloudy Patriot. She lives in New York City.

About the Narrators

Bobby Cannavale is a film, stage, and television actor. He has appeared in numerous television shows and films, but he is perhaps best known for his role as a reincarnated matchmaker on ABC's Cupid. He won an Emmy for his guest appearance on the hit show Will & Grace.

John Hodgman is a writer, comedian, and actor.. He is the author of three New York Times bestselling books—The Areas of My Expertise, More Information Than You Require, and That Is All. After an appearance to promote his books on The Daily Show, he was invited to return as a contributor, serving as the show’s “Resident Expert” and “Deranged Millionaire.” This led to an unexpected and, frankly, implausible career before the camera. He has performed comedy for the president of the United States, at a TED conference, and in a crypt in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. Finally, he is the host of the popular Judge John Hodgman podcast, in which he settles serious disputes between real people, such as “Is a hot dog a sandwich?” and “Should we tell our children the TRUTH about Santa Claus?” He also contributes a weekly column under the same name for the New York Times Magazine.

Patton Oswalt is an American stand-up comedian, actor, voice actor, and New York Times bestselling author. He has released television specials and critically acclaimed comedy albums, including the Grammy Award-nominated My Weakness Is Strong. He put together the Comedians of Comedy tour and television series and he has held recurring character roles on many television shows. He has appeared in more than twenty films and has worked as a voice actor in King of Queens, Cartoon Network’s Robotomy, and the Disney animated film Ratatouielle.

Nick Offerman is an actor, humorist, and woodworker. He is married to the most beautiful and talented actress working today, Megan Mullally. They live in Los Angeles, California, with their poodles and an impressive collection of assorted wood clamps.