Thomas Jefferson: Draftsman of a Nation

Thomas Jefferson: Draftsman of a Nation

by Natalie S. Bober


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Praise for Natalie Bober’s previous work:

"Natalie Bober’s Thomas Jefferson is a gift to us all. She makes him present, alive, and accessible: a man of intellect, feeling, grief, purpose, and great imagination."—Ken Burns, documentary producer

"Natalie Bober has provided what is probably the most thorough and intellectually sophisticated narrative that any [young adult] book on the Revolution has ever attempted." —Joseph J. Ellis, author of American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson

"Even readers raised on political cynicism will come away from this feeling stirred by this powerful, exciting story of their government’s birth."—Booklist *Starred*

To many Americans, Thomas Jefferson is the architect of our freedom. And yet the author of the Declaration of Independence also participated in a society that depended on slavery, and was himself the owner of slaves. How are we to reconcile this contradiction? This new life of Jefferson by Natalie S. Bober does not evade this difficult question.

From the first page, we are taken into Jefferson’s world, to help us understand what it meant to be a man of his time. He stands before us as a shy, freckle-faced, and, for the eighteenth century, unusually tall young man. We follow him through a life in which he gave words to American independence, journeyed to France as ambassador, and triumphed in a bitter campaign not unlike our recent presidential elections. He served two terms in the White House, but the achievements most important to him were as the author of the Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, and as architect and founder of the University of Virginia, which stands today as a living monument to his belief in the importance to a democracy of higher education open to everyone. His belief in the "illimitable freedom of the human mind" speaks to us even today. Thomas Jefferson taught us the power of the word. He showed us that words beautifully shaped can reshape lives. The Jefferson revealed here is distinguished by his often contradictory nature but also by his optimism, his curiosity, and his exceptional sense of his own place in history.

Like Bober’s earlier books on Abigail Adams and the American Revolution, Thomas Jefferson: Draftsman of a Nation will appeal to students of history of all ages. This book faces the fact that Jefferson was a flawed human being—yet insists that this does not disqualify him as a hero.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813927329
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
Publication date: 02/01/2008
Pages: 376
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Natalie S. Bober is the author of numerous books of history for young readers, including Countdown to Independence: A Revolution of Ideas in England and Her American Colonies 1760-1776 and Abigail Adams: Witness to a Revolution.

What People are Saying About This

Annette Gordon-ReedNew York Law School

Bober has taken on an extremely vital, but difficult, task: writing a history that speaks to young people, black and white alike, in a way that is respectful to both cultures.... Hits all the relevant points that young readers should know about the third president, while adding new perspectives that are always nuanced. The detail is rich and her presentation is elegant.

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