Woodward has the gift of dramatization, and Lafayette is a subject ready made to his hand. What a period his life covered, from the idealistic youthful adventure with the American army, through the tempest of the French Revolution, through years of imprisonment, to be released by Napoleon, instrumental ultimately in Napoleon's deposition, leader in the reinstatement of the monarchy, taking part in the Revolution of 1830, observer under the rule of Louis Philippe, after he had turned away from the offer of the presidency for himself. Woodward has drawn the setting for his life in bold strokes. He has filled his canvas with vivid pen portraits. He is no respecter of idols and has no hesitation about revealing clay feet. It is good reading, rich in historical and social implications, controversial in some of his interpretations -- but a swift moving narrative, and a memorable biography.