Customer Reviews for

Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

Average Rating 4
( 143 )
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(72)

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(28)

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(10)

2 Star

(22)

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(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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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2012

    What interesting individuals to submit a review without even rea

    What interesting individuals to submit a review without even reading a word from the book. You base your opinions on "modern trends." Sad, seems like you are an educated individual, it is just too bad you are not educated indeed.

    20 out of 49 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2012

    Excellent bio

    A must-read for info on an important founding father. Compelling and interesting.

    14 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 10, 2012

    Gordon S. Wood says this is the best single volume about Thomas

    Gordon S. Wood says this is the best single volume about Thomas Jefferson. That is enough for me. I have asked for it as a Christmas present.

    13 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Interested in history and politics? You'll like this one!

    Jefferson’s history as a political leader, philosopher and student of republican government, scientist, planter, slave-owner, and gentrified land owner was what defined him as perhaps our most famous president. As a member of the House of Burgesses, Continental Congress, Governor of Virginia, Minister to France, Secretary of State, Vice-President, and President, Jefferson used his background and experiences to define not only his own personal beliefs, but also the politics of his days given the power that he held in those offices. For me this was the most interesting aspect of the book.
    In this book Jon Meacham illustrates how Jefferson was such an important figure in the process of defining what the United States was to become, how it was to be governed, and how it was to be led. My take is that Jefferson was the right person at the right time concerning our country. Born in 1743, Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence at 33 in 1776, was elected president in 1800 after a bitter political fight, served 2 terms as President, and died on the same day, July 4th, 1826 as the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. That same day in 1826, near Boston, John Adams also died.
    For me, the most interesting aspect of the book is that from the very beginnings of the United States, politics have played major roles. Even “the father of our country,” George Washington was thought of as a Federalist, even by some of the democratic-republicans of Virginia such as Jefferson and Madison. John Adams, our 2nd president, was traditionally a Whig in the early days of the revolution, but also realized that a monarchial form of government was not in the best interest of liberty loving Americans. It was the political differences between Jefferson, the democratic-republican, and Alexander Hamilton, the staunch Federalist, that fueled the heated discourse during the presidential election of 1800, manifested in the political conflict between Jefferson and John Adams in that election. From page 458, Meacham quotes from a letter written by Jefferson to John Adams in June, 1813,
    “Men have differed in opinion, and been divided into parties by these opinions, from the first origin of societies, and in all governments where they have been permitted freely to think and to speak. The same political parties which now agitate the U.S. have existed through all time. Whether the power of the people, or that of the [best men; nobles] should prevail, were questions which kept the states of Greece and Rome in eternal convulsions…As we had longer than most others on the public theatre, and our names therefore were more familiar to our countrymen, the party which considered you as thinking with them, placed your name at their head, for the same reason selected mine.”
    At Monticello, Jefferson was master of his own domain which included land, plantations, buildings, and slaves. While there was certainly abolitionist movements within the states,“southern states” including Virginia depended upon slavery. Jefferson was certain slavery would be abolished, but he felt it would be left to succeeding generations to make that happen. While he was still alive, his children from Sally Hemings, a slave and half-sister of his wife, were considered slaves. When he died, Sally and all children and grandchildren were considered to be free.

    12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2012

    Thomas Jefferson

    He'S A GREAT GUY TO LEARN ABOUT! I'm learning about him and the Revulosanry War.

    7 out of 56 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 15, 2012

    After having recently visited Monticello I knew this was a book I had to read, and I was pleasantly surprised! A definite read for the Jeffersonian reader.

    This is one of the most insightful probings of Jefferson and his life that I have ever read! I have many books on Jefferson and his style of power, but this one I truly believe is at the top of the heap!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2012

    History

    If you like to read about presidents, then read this book. Jon Meacham has a way of writing that makes history so interesting. A must for your personal library.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 27, 2014

    Engaging and insightful. Fast pace.

    As in the case of most biographers the author describes Jefferson in the most positive of lights yet he makes great efforts to show that Jefferson was also an imperfect man. I liked how the author included the other principle figures of the day (Washington, Franklin, Madison, Monroe and Adams) as integral to Jefferson's life. Some of the biographers of these men I have read go out of their way to belittle the others or pay scant attention to their contributions. I'm not sure I learned anything about the art of power but today's political divisions are similar to those of the new republic. The names may change but not the fundamental divides. I found myself making copious highlights and notes. It is a thought provoking read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2012

    An insightful read

    This novel offers new insights to the mind and thinking of Thomas Jefferson and how the visions and actions he took, not only while drafting the Declaration of Independence, but his ideas and philosophies of dispensing government. The reason is that this novel gives us a new insight in my belief of Jefferson's thinking is the focus on the formative years that many may not know about, his becoming master of a house at 14 and the teachings of his teachers and mentors thru his teens and takes us on a new journey thru his life, founding a great read

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 14, 2012

    Wonderful story.

    Meacham tells a wonderful story of a great American in a way that everyone can enjoy, not just the history buffs. I am a history teacher and do love a good biography and realize they can be a bit dry. Meacham helps us to view the events of Jefferson's life from the perspective of Jefferson himself, giving life to the story of his life. This is well written and well researched.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 8, 2012

    Great reading for history buffs!

    Great reading for history buffs!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 23, 2014

    Terrific read. Meacham is an outstanding biographer. Highly reco

    Terrific read. Meacham is an outstanding biographer. Highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2014

    CRYSTALGIRL ADVICE HELP

    Ask anything!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2014

    Great book.

    The author puts you in Jefferson's mind and world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2014

    To Remember

    It is good thing to lpok back to be reminded of our founders motivarions

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2014

    I'll join

    Name:Rina Age:12 State:Califrnia Ca

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2013

    CRYSTALGIRL

    Okay.... just say your age and name and state. Tht fine if you young. I am too. But i am leader

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2013

    To crystal girls

    Anissa i would like to apply for the team

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2013

    Stellor High school

    We are part of this group. We will look out regisetion sheet on result one.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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