From the May 2008 issue of Choice
“Truly a visitor’s mirror of the time”
This work involves three stories.
First, since there was no complete English translation of the story of Lafayette’s trip to the US, translator Hoffman sets out to rectify that fact and does so with aptitude and style.
Second, the account itself is largely the writing of Auguste Levasseur, Lafayette’s private secretary, whose abilities to record information and make observations are extraordinary.
Finally, it is the story of the triumphal return of one of the heroes of the American Revolution who was, a half century later, amazingly popular and beloved. The personalities, stories, travels, and anecdotes make this translation come alive.
Levasseur’s recording of the visit is instrumental in creating a view into Revolutionary America, but most especially the US in 1824-5. No issue is skirted, including slavery. The account provides many insights for life, society, economics, and democratic government, including the wide diversity present in the states. At times, Levasseur recounts with precision population, trade statistics, and many other interesting facts, as well as the words Lafayette spoke on many occasions and events during the yearlong visit.
This journal is truly a visitor’s mirror of the time. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.
— C. W. Haury, Piedmont Virginia Community College