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Customer Reviews for

The Women Jefferson Loved

Average Rating 2.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

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3 Star

(2)

2 Star

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2011

    Dreadful

    I expected to enjoy this book since I read quite a bit of history, both American and British. I could not have been more wrong. Time after time, the author tells us that is is not possible to know something and then proceeds to tell us anyhow. Her conjecture? Or fact? There are inconsistencies that are extremely annoying. One example is the author disputing previous historians' claims that Jefferson did not care for his mother citing a lack of correspondence between them. She states that this is groundless because there are no letters between Jefferson and his wife either. Several pages later, she refers to letters Martha received from her huband every two weeks. Did the author forget what she had written earlier? While in another section the author comments on "wrapping our twenty-first-century minds" around something, as she insists on judging every interaction using today's standards. She attributes emotions and thoughts to her subjects which can only be her individual bias. One example of her writing style--"Hemmingses would be enslaved for life....in houses where women skated along the bloody bodily edge of race and bondage." Please just tell the story and give the reader some credit. I assure the author that the history would speak for itself without her constant editorializing. I am sorry to have wasted money on this book and would have given it NO stars if that would have been possible.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    This was a great book and I highly recommend it. I first read i

    This was a great book and I highly recommend it. I first read it a year ago. I'm now re-reading it. Dr. Scharff's style of writing flows smoothly making this book an easy read. The author has great insight helping us to understanding Jefferson the man. One historian, unfortunately, I now forget who, wrote a biography about Jefferson several years ago calling Jefferson a "cipher." Dr. Scharff has uncovered the real Jefferson by examining Jefferson's relationships with the women in his life. These women are fully fleshed out by Dr. Scharff and not mere cardboard characters. I disagree with the reviewer who called this book, "dreadful." It was anything but. I think that this reviewer missed the point. Dr. Scharff opinions are not merely wild conjecture pulled from the blue yonder, but are an interpretation of the facts available to us in the early 21st century. This is precisely what a good historian, in fact, what any good writer does. It's called analysis. It creates depth and is the way that a good historian fleshes out historical figures making the women Jefferson loved come alive. Otherwise, they would be only flat, lifeless, cardboard characters.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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