Thomas Jefferson and the New Nation: A Biography / Edition 1

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The definitive life of Jefferson in one volume, this biography relates Jefferson's private life and thought to his prominent public position and reveals the rich complexity of his development. As Peterson explores the dominant themes guiding Jefferson's career--democracy, nationality, and enlightenment--and Jefferson's powerful role in shaping America, he simultaneously tells the story of nation coming into being.

This definitive biography of Jefferson explores the dominant themes of his career -- democracy, nationality, and enlightenment.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195019094
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 9/11/1986
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 1104
  • Sales rank: 1,185,252
  • Lexile: 1240L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.06 (w) x 5.31 (h) x 2.31 (d)

Meet the Author

University of Virginia
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2001

    Peterson masterfully explores Jefferson's mind

    Peterson has written as fine a one-volume biography of Jefferson as is possible, given the complexity and breadth of the subject. Peterson remains mostly fair to Jefferson, even if he always gives Jefferson the benefit of the doubt. In avoiding the fawning lionization of Dumas Malone, Peterson has done the rest of us a real service. Peterson is very readable and the book flows rather well; one never feels the sense that he or she is merely muddling through. The only shortcoming of the biography is that Peterson sometimes sacrifices a discussion of Jefferson's actions for explorations of Jefferson's thoughts when the two should have been combined. For example, Peterson spends more than a dozen pages tracing the origins of Jefferson's revolutionary thought (a fascinating, enlightening dozen pages, mind you) during a chapter dedicated to one of the most intellectually formative of Jefferson's life -- his years in Williamsburg as a law student and then as a member of the House of Burgesses, cutting his revolutionary teeth on the rhetoric of Patrick Henry and the charisma of Richard Henry Lee. Jefferson's involvement in Virginia's Committee of Correspondence and other seminal activities of the Virginia radicals get very little explication from Peterson, who is foremost concerned with how Jefferson reached his broader conclusions rather than his early implementation of those principles.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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