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Monday, November 27, 2006



Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette.Bought his own sailing ship to sail for the Colonies, nrelay arrested by the King of France for his intent to join the Revolution, fled to Spain to avoid assassination by British agents, sailed for South Carolina disguised as a woman and was commissioned a major general in the Continental Army. He was nineteen.Wounded at Brandywine, wintered at Valley Forge, saved the Army's ass at Barren Hill and Monmouth Courthouse, returned to France to gain more support through buttloads of cash and 6,000 soldiers and was instrumental in the final defeat of the British at the Battle Of Yorktown, engaging in hand-to-hand combat as he led his American troops to victory. He was twenty-four.George Washington thought of him as a son. Benjamin Franklin considered him a great man and better friend; they would meet almost daily in Paris after the Revolution. Thomas Jefferson offered him the governorship of the Louisiana Purchase. He was known as the Fearsome Horseman by the Onieda tribe, who he recruited to the fight for the American cause. He was one of the first noblemen in Europe to speak out against slavery and urged Washington to release his own slaves.And that's before any of the shit in the French Revolution went down, before his vocal opposition to the Bonaparte government and before the French crown was offered him after Bonaparte's defeat and exile.That, my friends, is living.

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I'm an editor in the Style section at The Washington Post, and I've written about arts, entertainment, business, and technology for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Slate, Los Angeles Magazine, and other publications. I was previously deputy editor at L.A. Weekly, overseeing arts and culture coverage. I've won awards for my stories about slash fiction, magicians, and television in India, among others. I've appeared on CNN and NPR and I wrote a book about Avenue Q. I've taught journalism at Loyola Marymount University and creative nonfiction at the University of Virginia Young Writers Workshop.

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