I read this because Hamilton has been on repeat in my car for a year or something now, and he *is* my favorite fighting Frenchman after D'Artagnan and before General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas. I enjoyed learning about his family of military bigwigs and how desperate he was to get over here and fight.
Lafayette, a descendent of Christian warriors stretching back to the Crusade, cheerfully belly flopped into the bloodbath.
And later, on his farewell tour of the US, it's easy to imagine him in a sort of Dickensian popular tour. Because this is a book about how Vowell feels about things she reads and places she goes and What History Means to Me, there is no pretense of reporting, no effort to be fairhanded. There is humor; there's snark: especially every time he manages to impregnate his wife before running off for several more years. It all works because it makes us think about what history means to us, and some of it is funny and some of it is rage-inducing, and all the best bits were never included in our text books.