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Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

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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 157 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 9, 2012

    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 him such an inspiring and effective leader.

    23 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 10, 2012

    Mr. Meacham is one of my favorite authors.  I have read two othe

    Mr. Meacham is one of my favorite authors.  I have read two other books by him and felt privileged to be able to read his work.
     I have been reading about Our Founding Fathers for the last four years.  I was waiting for this book to be published and was glad when
    it became available.  It is well researched, documented, and written.  Mr. Jefferson does not come across as as someone above
    humanity.  He is all too human.  He is complex, deeply academic ,and curious of life.  I never knew that he spoke and wrote against
    slavery.  But he was a man of his time and even though he personally believed slavery to be evil, he was not willing to fight against  that
    ghastly institution.  Jefferson owned over a hundred slaves and had six children by one, Sally Hemings.
     I would respectfully disagree with those who take Mr Mecham to task for not editorializing against Jefferson's hypocrisy.  Mr. Mecham
    does not have to .  The reader can certainly draw his or her own conclusion that Thomas Jefferson had feet of clay. concerning slavery
    But this does not disqualify him from his truly remarkable words and work that helped to found our nation.  

    21 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2012

    This book is the work of one man. Hundreds have written about Je

    This book is the work of one man. Hundreds have written about Jefferson. Please take the time to study the entire person, flaws and all.
    I too was offended that Thomsas Jefferson not only owned slaves but had relations with Sally Hemming.
    But, if you read a variety of the works of Jefferson, you'll realize that he lived in a time when slavery was acceptable, not right, but acceptable.
    He felt strongly that this battle was for another generation.
    In his 40 or so years of public service, he was a Representative, Governor of Virginia, Secretary of State, Vice President and President. Oh, and did I forget to mention that he authored the Declaration of Independence and fought hard to see that our nation didn't turn into a monarcy.He wasn't perfect, but pretty close.

    16 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Wonderfully Written. I always enjoy books about our founding fa

    Wonderfully Written. I always enjoy books about our founding fathers!

    15 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 10, 2012

    A must read if you love U.S. History

    All I can say is another excellent biography By Author Jon Meacham. He gets his facts straight and gets into person's character. A must read if you are an American and want more information on our founding fathers.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2014

    Great biography by Meacham

    Jon Meacham has written a great biography of one of our founding fathers. He captures very real concerns of America's early days; particularly the Federalist versus Republican struggles and the threat that the British might reclaim our newly free land. Meacham deals realistically the alliances which were constantly in flux, with the recurring theme of our fluid relationship with the French during their time of great upheaval. His focus on Jefferson the man, with the great sadness he faced in his life and his conflicting feelings about slavery, being a slaveholder while fathering several children by Sally Hemings, lent a much more revealing portrait of Jefferson than a basic education lends. Fine work by a tremendous historian.

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  • Posted May 13, 2013

    I loved this book. This book was full of amazing historical info

    I loved this book. This book was full of amazing historical information. The author put amazing quotes from Jefferson, I just loved it all. 

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  • Posted January 25, 2013

    Very detailed learned much about the personal man

    My review concerns B & N what a tremendous experience I (my grand-daughter) deleted a new book. With in minutes B & N on line staff un-deleted and I was back to reading great Job B & N and Savana M too

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2013

    Great deal of depth

    The book is easy to read and very engaging. Meacham does an extraordinary job rounding out one of America's founding fathers and showing the innately flawed side of the man we've come to idolize as the author of our American independance. It was multifaceted, respectful and full of admiration but never blind to the faults and prejudices of a great man. Truely an inspirational read with some lessons to be picked up for aspiring leaders and politicians

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    Good historical perspective, must read if you like Jefferson

    Meacham interwove quotes from letters to give the reader a real sense of the thinking of the time. A Federalist was too loyal to England, a monarchist, not just a person who strongly favored a strong central government. That was news to me. I now understand the reason for a Jefferson Memorial; he truly was great man.

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