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Adopted Son    by David A. Clary order for
Adopted Son
by David A. Clary
Order:  USA  Can
Bantam, 2007 (2007)

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* *   Reviewed by Kerrily Sapet

David A. Clary begins his latest book with this quote by Karl Von Clausewitz: 'War is an act of force, and the emotions are necessarily involved in it.' The quote aptly foreshadows the relationships to come in his book, Adopted Son: Washington, Lafayette, and the Friendship That Saved the Revolution. With meticulous research, Clary presents a varied cast of characters on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. These characters revolve around both the American and French Revolutions, but at the core is deep friendship between two men as alike as they were different.

Clary portrays Virginian George Washington as a man without a son. The French Marquis de Lafayette, in turn, is a wealthy orphaned boy, searching for glory and fatherly guidance. The rest is the stuff of legends. During times of turmoil, both show their true loyalty and admiration for each other. Each brings something the other needs to the table. Adopted Son takes a fascinating peek at the emotions behind the struggle for independence of both the United States and France. We have long placed each of these men up on pedestals, but rarely seen them in human form. David A. Clary provides us that glimpse.

While at over 400 pages, the book is no light reading, Clary manages to captivate and hold attention by using historic letters and giving vivid description of participants. Clary provides small details, from the history of the Continental Army's uniforms to the letters Lafayette penned to his wife, and important moments in George Washington's childhood. All in all, these portrayals give us a better picture of the heroes who not only played such a great role in building foundations of nations, but who also played fundamental roles in each other's lives.

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