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This concise biography features Thomas Jefferson's architectural output: Monticello, Poplar Forest, the Virginia State Capitol, and the University of Virginia campus. Wills (Destination America; America's Presidents) discusses his illustrious life to put these designs into context and follows the ownership and condition of these distinctive buildings up to the present, including the latest restorations and historical research. A lively layout with sidebars and color pages makes for stimulating reading. The book is well illustrated with engravings and photographs, including panoramic foldouts. The interaction mentioned in the subtitle involves pockets containing loose facsimiles of documents by Jefferson, from selected journal entries and letters to floor plans and elevation drawings. The documents add immediacy to the experience of reading about Jefferson's architecture. Because of its vulnerability to damage and loss of parts, this book (which includes a slipcase) is recommended for academic and special collections only.
—David R. Conn