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Hardcover Thomas Jefferson : Genius of Liberty Book

ISBN: 0670889334

ISBN13: 9780670889334

Thomas Jefferson : Genius of Liberty

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. A companion book to a Library of Congress bicentennial exhibition, with an introduction by Garry Wills; a narrative with more than 150 illustrations, two thirds in color and essays by scholars on...

Customer Reviews

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An Excellent Biography of Thomas Jefferson

Apparently the reviewer from Swizerland is an an expert on looking at history with 20/20 hindsight. This book discusses the views of liberty and philosophy that Thomas Jefferson admired, and gives a better insight into the kind of person he was. The book details how Jefferson greatly admired John Locke, and worked to build the United States with the philosophy of Locke in mind. If the reviewer from Swizerland has a problem with Jefferson's ideas of philosophy, he must also have a problem with the natural rights of life, liberty and estate that Locke proposed! What many who criticize Jefferson fail to realize is that in our current day and age, minorities have been able to embrace Jefferson's views of liberty and equality. According to black scholar Annette Gordon-Reed, (who spoke about this book at a Library of Congress seminar,) "American minorities have taken Jeffersonian ideals of liberty and equality to heart, expanding their meaning in ways Jefferson himself never believed possible." The book is written in a patriotic tone, as one would expect from the Library of Congress, however it is written in an objective voice, and does describe Jefferson's hardships and shortcomings. It addresses the controversy of Jefferson's relationship with Sally Hemmings and discusses the failure of Monticello to sustain itself as a plantation. The book also covers Jefferson's personal love of art and architecture. While any figure in history has their fair share of controversy, this book is an excellent look at the man and his life, and does not get bogged down in speculation and opinion, as a more subjective biography might do.

Understanding Jefferson in his historic context

It's hard to argue that Jefferson was a man of great contrasts and contradictions. At the same time, it's hard to argue that his contributions to America--and to the world--are enduring. This volume contains many elements of interest, and helps the reader understand not only Jefferson the man, but also the historic context that made him the man that he was. He was a product of his times, in many ways, but was also able to transcend those times and create a vision that helped America become a land of both flaws and genius. The legacy of the U.S. rests on the shoulders of no individual person, but is a result of the efforts of countless men and women. Among those who are known to history, Jefferson is one essential to be reckoned with. This volume provides insights into the man and his times.
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