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  • Hero of Two Worlds

  • The Marquis de Lafayette in the Age of Revolution
  • Written by: Mike Duncan
  • Narrated by: Mike Duncan
  • Length: 17 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, World
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (157 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

What the critics say

“Comprehensive and accessible.... Duncan marshals a wealth of information into a crisp and readable narrative. This sympathetic portrait illuminates the complexities of Lafayette and his revolutionary era.” (Publishers Weekly)

"Mike Duncan's ability to weave a rich and compelling story is on full display in Hero of Two Worlds. He takes the reader on a gripping roller-coaster ride that follows the Marquis de Lafayette's fortunes through decades of victory, defeat, and revolution on two continents.... Duncan has an exceptional eye for both human potential and human fallibility, grasping the qualities that make figures like Lafayette real, three-dimensional people, simultaneously victims of circumstance and active participants driving forward the course of history. Hero of Two Worlds is biography and narrative at its best, an informative page-turner crafted by a master of historical storytelling." (Patrick Wyman, creator of Tides of History and author of The Verge: Reformation, Renaissance, and Forty Years That Shook the World)

"I first learned of Mike Duncan's work when a prominent politician told me he'd been addicted to his podcast on the French Revolution, and found it startlingly relevant in 2021. Duncan's work is a reminder that history can also be a gripping yarn full of compelling characters, and in Hero of Two Worlds he brings alive one of the great characters of American history." (Ben Smith, New York Times)

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What listeners say about Hero of Two Worlds

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what a life

Fans of Mike Duncan - and revolutionary history in general - will not be disappointed.

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Great Listen!

Well done Mike! All your hard work was worth it because its a Masterpiece!

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Very interesting life journey.

Amazing how this one individual was exposed to so much history in one lifetime,,, He had touched so many lives

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Amazing! Well worth it

Mike Duncan brings his easy to understand well practiced podcast style to this riveting book. Well worth your time.

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Another Mike Duncan's masterpiece

The sound editing and storytelling were awesome. Very informative. Easy to listen. In another word another Duncan's masterpiece.

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Narration is really monotone

The subject is great, the Marquis de Lafayette. Most likely the only person in history that had been in contact with both Washington and Napoleon. There is a good amount of detail in the work but as the title of this review states, the narration is really monotone. Do not expect to be entertained while learning. I would add that sometimes the story turns out slightly too much poetic to my taste, or leaning to some figurative sense, but that is just me disliking the style in historical works.

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A masterfully executed recount of a great story

Mike Duncan delivers a truly immersive experience into the world of Lafayette! A really great book!

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Homerun

Mike,

You pointed to the fence and hit it out of the park. Simply awesome.

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A fascinating look at a complex historical figure

This incredible read of Hero of Two Worlds, was an absolute joy to listen to. Regardless of whether or not you are new to Mike Duncan's works , such as his Revolution podcast in which Lafayette takes an obviously important part, this audiobook is a lovely, easy to listen to piece.

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  • TK
  • 2021-09-11

Pure Excellence

Just an incredible portrayal of a formational era for the modern world and the man who took part in it all.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2021-09-02

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.

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  • Byron
  • 2021-08-24

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.

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  • D. Littman
  • 2021-09-04

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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  • Bill
  • 2021-08-25

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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  • Michael McDonald
  • 2022-02-01

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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  • Anonymous User
  • 2021-09-08

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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  • Caitlin Durkin
  • 2021-09-03

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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  • Anonymous User
  • 2021-08-31

Excellent

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

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  • crimsoncat
  • 2021-08-30

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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  • Elodie Farms
  • 2022-06-17

The book we were waiting for!

Having followed the Marquis during Duncan's Revolutions Podcast and the subsequent journey to create this book, we were waiting for the eventual release. It does not disappoint. An epic following the course of Lafayette's life, it finally paints the whole picture of the man, as well as give a completely different vantage point to famous events in history.

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  • Samuel Tunnell
  • 2021-10-16

Absolutely brilliant telling of a fascinating life

I had caught glimpses of the exciting life that the Marquis de Lafayette had led through school and some previous history podcasts, but I was delighted to discover, through Mike Duncan's expertly crafted yet balanced telling of the story, how great a man the Marquis truly was. This is a true achievement for Duncan, as in addition to the actions of the protagonist being epic and inspiring, the author's telling is a treat in and of itself, both in prose and in narration.
If you have even a passing interest in the period, I highly recommend the book!

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  • PilouAsbek14
  • 2021-09-06

Une histoire de révolutionS

Mike Duncan reprend les grandes lignes de son podcast Révolutions en nous narrant le rôle du héro des deux mondes dans la guerre d’indépendance américaine, la révolution française et les trois glorieuses. A ecouter

1 person found this helpful