In 1781, Gens. Rochambeau and Washington, with the Marquis de Lafayette, give the last orders for attack in "Siege of Yorktown" by Auguste Couder.
In 1781, Gens. Rochambeau and Washington, with the Marquis de Lafayette, give the last orders for attack in "Siege of Yorktown" by Auguste Couder. - 
Listen To The Story
Marketplace

If you listen to Marketplace Weekend, you know I live in New York. Brooklyn, to be specific. And that means I take the subway and spend a lot of time reading on it. This week, I have been carrying around Sarah Vowell's new book, "Lafayette In the Somewhat United States." It's about the Marquis de Lafayette and his tremendous influence in the founding of our country.

And honestly, it took me reading this book on my commute to realize that Lafayette Avenue, where I get on the subway every day, is named for the guy. Ooof. Lightbulb! I feel like I should probably refund my college tuition.

But Lafayette is everywhere in America. And Vowell and I talked about that. And the influence that this aristocratic teenage Frenchman had when he worked — for free — for a group of rebellious tax protesters, aka our Founding Fathers.

Click the audio player above to hear the interview.

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.

Follow Lizzie O'Leary at @lizzieohreally