A featured alternate Book-of-the-Month club selection.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyMapp?? ( Thomas Jefferson: A Case of Mistaken Identity ) has written a fresh interpretation of the third president's two terms in the White House and his productive post-presidential years from 1809 to his death in 1826. No previous biography matches this one in depicting Jefferson's far-ranging and insatiable intellect, his sense of humor or the spiritual dimension of his thought. In a letter quoted here, Jefferson refers to himself as ``a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus'' and denounces the ``demoralizing doctrines of Calvin.'' Mapp allows that many people are disturbed by Jefferson's dual role as slave-owner and opponent of the institution. Here he gives full airing to Jefferson's views on the ``hideous evil'' of slavery, making the point that we should not fault him for being no more enlightened on that issue than was the Great Emancipator two generations later. Finally, MappMapp or Mapps? provides a moving account of how Jefferson, plagued by financial woes and ill health, realizes a dream of half a century by foundingfounding? the University of Virginia in 1825 and serving as its rector. Illustrations. BOMC and History Book Club alternates. (Oct.)
Library JournalWith the hundreds of books published about the third U.S. president, there is still no short, popular biography of Jefferson that reflects the literary and scholarly achievement of Dumas Malone's multivolume work. Mapp's effort to fill this gap is laudatory. But the book is too long by a third, the result of overlong and repetitive quotations; the writing is choppy, with some topics raised but left unconnected to the argument; and the tone is heavily celebrationist. The volume begins where the author's first ( Thomas Jefferson: A Strange Case of Mistaken Identity , 1989) left off, treating the very familiar ground of Jefferson's presidency unexceptionally. The second half of the book is better told and deals with Jefferson's battle to establish a system of public education in Virginia. The ``passionate pilgrim in search of truth and liberty'' was partially successful; it was through Jefferson's efforts that the University of Virginia was founded. This book will find a general readership, but scholars will find little that is new.-- David B. Mattern, Univ. of Virginia, Charlottesville
- Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 7.18(w) x 9.38(h) x 1.58(d)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews