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The Inner Jefferson

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Thomas Jefferson's personal life has always been a puzzle to biographers. Even his contemporaries found him difficult to know. In Jefferson's correspondence, however, Andrew Burstein has found a key to the inner man. This penetrating and thoughtful portait confronts widespread misunderstandings about Jefferson's romantic life and provides insight into the contradictions that still surround our third president.

University of Virginia Press

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Overview

Thomas Jefferson's personal life has always been a puzzle to biographers. Even his contemporaries found him difficult to know. In Jefferson's correspondence, however, Andrew Burstein has found a key to the inner man. This penetrating and thoughtful portait confronts widespread misunderstandings about Jefferson's romantic life and provides insight into the contradictions that still surround our third president.

University of Virginia Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813917207
  • Publisher: University of Virginia Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1997
  • Pages: 334
  • Product dimensions: 6.11 (w) x 9.13 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Burstein served as a consultant and appears as prominent commentator in Ken Burns's television biography Thomas Jefferson. He has taught Jefferson's life and legacy at the University of Virginia and Mount Holyoke College. He is currently Assistant Professor of History at the University of Northern Iowa.

University of Virginia Press

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2014

    The Inner Jefferson: Portrait of a Grieving Optimist, by Andrew

    The Inner Jefferson: Portrait of a Grieving Optimist, by Andrew Burstein is a phenomenal book for anyone who has a passion for American history. This was not an easy read because Jefferson, like any other rich aristocrat at the time, talked with fancy words. Also, the way Thomas Jefferson speaks is much different than the way we speak today. Occasionally I found myself re-reading Thomas Jefferson’s letters to fully comprehend his message. However, Thomas Jefferson is among my favorite presidents, second to Andrew Jackson, so I found this book very intriguing. Most people only know Thomas Jefferson either as the man who wrote the Declaration of Independence and/or as the third President of the United States.  Yes, it is important to look at these events in Thomas Jefferson’s life, however these are not the biggest moments of his life. Andrew Burstein does a fantastic job of unlocking the key to understanding Jefferson’s consciousness. Burstein shows Jefferson as a strong and frail man, but at the same time sensitive. Burstein shows him as an ordinary man, while at the same time showing him as an extraordinary man. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in American History and/or interested in our third president Thomas Jefferson.  

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