Books: In Love with a Word

THE APOSTLE OF LIBERTY (344 pp.)—Maurice de la Fuye and Emile Babeau —Yoseloff ($5).

When liberty seemed mainly the preoccupation of a few French philosophers and the dissident American colonials, a millionaire nobleman called Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, gave up his title and pledged his sword to make room for it on the earth. With that pledge and sword, he won a secure place in the pantheon of American heroes. What the French think of him is a more complicated matter. As depicted by his most recent biographers, Maurice de la Fuye...

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