Customer Reviews for

Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

Average Rating 4
( 143 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(72)

4 Star

(28)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(22)

1 Star

(11)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

23 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

As a retired military man, I really enjoyed this book. Despite

As a retired military man, I really enjoyed this book. Despite how people feel about Jefferson's personal life choices, he was without a doubt one of the most influential leaders in early America. This book offers both timeless wisdom, and fresh insight into what made...
As a retired military man, I really enjoyed this book. Despite how people feel about Jefferson's personal life choices, he was without a doubt one of the most influential leaders in early America. This book offers both timeless wisdom, and fresh insight into what made him such an inspiring and effective leader.

posted by SteveJ54 on December 9, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

17 out of 158 people found this review helpful.

The following is enough to keep me from buying this book: "

The following is enough to keep me from buying this book:

"The author of 'All men are created equal' owned slaves and almost certainly kept one as his concubine, and kept their children in his house, still slaves."

The zeal to denigrate American historical i...
The following is enough to keep me from buying this book:

"The author of 'All men are created equal' owned slaves and almost certainly kept one as his concubine, and kept their children in his house, still slaves."

The zeal to denigrate American historical icons is an unfortunate modern trend. The DNA evidence reagrding the paternity of Sally Hemings children was misrepresented deliberately by the fraud Joseph Ellis. Sad to see Meacham buy into it.
The DNA excluded any Jefferson male from being the father of three of her four children. So much for the notion that Jefferson kept his children(plural) as slaves. As for the remaining child the DNA evidence shows that a Jefferson male was the father. There were many Jefferson males present at Monticello. That makes thomas Jefferson's paternity a possibility, but a long ways from being a probability.

posted by Investor612 on November 16, 2012

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  • Posted December 14, 2012

    Disappointing

    I found this book to be heavy on detail but lacking in substance. The author only mentions in passing the debate while drafting the Declaration of Independence regarding separation of church and state. I would have enjoyed a discussion of the various positions taken by the founders. Also, when discussing the roles Jefferson and Adams played as diplomats to France and Great Britain, respectively, I would have appreciated a fuller discussion of what arguements they used in an effort to convince Great Britain that it was better off without the colonies. But, the author chose to spend more time dealing with petty matters such as Jefferson's personal correspondence, and the gifts he purchased for himself and the Adams. After a while, this book becomes tedious.

    9 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2012

    Not a fan

    I've read TJ's letters and many books on him, and unfortunately, I am finding it difficult to say much good about this book. Meacham does little else than recount historical details; the book fails to depict a cognitive construct from which a level of artistry in achieving power could be claimed; why, then, title the book "the art of power"? Meacham's Jefferson is astute, intelligent, educated, but also reactive and a bit whiny. I'm not seeing any art of power.... The book is also in need of a good editor - someone who could pull together the many disparate pieces of this book into coherent angles.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2014

    CRYSTAL GIRL

    Like seriously anything? Cuz i need some real help with my crush:/

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2014

    I bought this book because of the favorable hype. One size does

    I bought this book because of the favorable hype. One size does not fit all. I was disappointed from the get-go in that the prologue was a summary judgment on Jefferson's character without any substantiation. It set the wrong tone for the book. The prologue was like reading the conclusion of a study without any evidence. In addition, Meacham's writing style is not lively. Too many words and a lack of vigor in his prose. I enjoy Walter Isaacson's work much more. I haven't finished the book, yet, so I am hopeful it gets progressively engaging.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2013

    Hyped 

    Hyped 

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  • Posted January 2, 2013

    Very disappointing. Reading the Peterson and Brodie books on Je

    Very disappointing. Reading the Peterson and Brodie books on Jefferson years ago I found in Meacham's book adding nothing new. In my opinion this book was very tedious to read. Too many quotes, not enough explanation and interpretation by author. I would rate it 1.75 stars, and that is being generous.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2012

    Poor historical writing

    The author makes many leaps describing how Jefferson and others thought, and also appears to be a biased partisan Republican ideologue hack to boot. What a waste of a book!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2012

    Jefferson At the Helm

    I am only reading a few pages here and there as it is a very detailed and exhuasting relating of family life. After 100 or so pages I hope it opens to more of Jefferson's statesmenship as it carries on to the end of the Revolution. All family life was so difficult for even the well to do. It's a wonder that this country has survived. In God We Trust must be our way.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted February 22, 2013

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    Posted November 23, 2012

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