In this magnificent biography, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "American Lion" and "Franklin and Winston" brings vividly to life an extraordinary man and his remarkable times. "Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power" gives us Jefferson the politician and president, a great and complex human being forever engaged in the wars of his era. ...
In this magnificent biography, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "American Lion" and "Franklin and Winston" brings vividly to life an extraordinary man and his remarkable times. "Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power" gives us Jefferson the politician and president, a great and complex human being forever engaged in the wars of his era. Philosophers think; politicians maneuver. Jefferson's genius was that he was both and could do both, often simultaneously. Such is the art of power. Thomas Jefferson hated confrontation, and yet his understanding of power and of human nature enabled him to move men and to marshal ideas, to learn from his mistakes, and to prevail. Passionate about many things--women, his family, books, science, architecture, gardens, friends, Monticello, and Paris--Jefferson loved America most, and he strove over and over again, despite fierce opposition, to realize his vision: the creation, survival, and success of popular government in America. Jon Meacham lets us see Jefferson's world as Jefferson himself saw it, and to appreciate how Jefferson found the means to endure and win in the face of rife partisan division, economic uncertainty, and external threat. Drawing on archives in the United States, England, and France, as well as unpublished Jefferson presidential papers, Meacham presents Jefferson as the most successful political leader of the early republic, and perhaps in all of American history. The father of the ideal of individual liberty, of the Louisiana Purchase, of the Lewis and Clark expedition, and of the settling of the West, Jefferson recognized that the genius of humanity--and the genius of the new nation--lay in the possibility of progress, of discovering the undiscovered and seeking the unknown. From the writing of the Declaration of Independence to elegant dinners in Paris and in the President's House; from political maneuverings in the boardinghouses and legislative halls of Philadelphia and New York to the infant capital on the Potomac; from his complicated life at Monticello, his breathtaking house and plantation in Virginia, to the creation of the University of Virginia, Jefferson was central to the age. Here too is the personal Jefferson, a man of appetite, sensuality, and passion. The Jefferson story resonates today not least because he led his nation through ferocious partisanship and cultural warfare amid economic change and external threats, and also because he embodies an eternal drama, the struggle of the leadership of a nation to achieve greatness in a difficult and confounding world. Advance praise for "Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power" "Jon Meacham resolves the bundle of contradictions that was Thomas Jefferson by probing his love of progress and thirst for power. This is a thrilling and affecting portrait of our first philosopher-politician."--Stacy Schiff " " "This terrific book allows us to see the political genius of Thomas Jefferson better than we have ever seen it before. In these endlessly fascinating pages, Jefferson emerges with such vitality that it seems as if he might still be alive today."--Doris Kearns Goodwin
New. xxix, 759,  pages of plates: illustrations (some color); 25 cm Hardcover and dust jacket. Fine binding and cover. Clean, unmarked pages. In this biography the author draws upon archives in the United States, England, and France, as well as unpublished transcripts of Jefferson presidential papers to give readers a view of Jefferson the politician and the President, a great and complex human being forever engaged in the wars of his era. The father of the ideal of individual liberty, of the Louisiana Purchase, of the Lewis and Clark expedition, and of the settling of the West, Jefferson recognized that the genius of humanity, and the genius of the new nation, lay in the possibility of progress. Philosophers think; politicians maneuver. Jefferson's genius was that he was both and could do both, often simultaneously, catapulting him into becoming the most successful political leader of the early republic, and perhaps in all of American history. Contents: The world's best hope--The scion: beginnings to Spring 1774--The revolutionary: Spring 1774 to Summer 1776--Reformer and governor: late 1776 to 1782--The frustrated Congressman: late 1782 to mid-1784--A man of the world: 1785 to 1789--The first Secretary of State: 1789 to 1792--The leader of the opposition: 1793 to 1800--The President of the United States: 1801 to 1809--The master of Monticello: 1809 to the end--All honor to Jefferson. Prologue. The world's best hope--pt. I. The scion: beginnings to spring 1774: A fortunate son; What fixed the destinies of my life; Roots of revolution; Temptations and trials; A world of desire and denial--pt. II. The revolutionary: spring 1774 to summer 1776: Like a shock of electricity; There is no peace; The famous Mr. Jefferson; The course of human events; The pull of duty--pt. III. Reformer and governor: late 1776 to 1782: An agenda for liberty; A troublesome office; Redcoats at Monticello; To burn on through death--pt. IV. The frustrated congressman: late 1782 to mid-1784: Return to the arena; A struggle for respect; Lost cities and life counsel--pt. V. A man of the world: 1785 to 1789: The vaunted scene of Europe; The philosophical world; His head and his heart; Do you like our new Constitution? ; A treaty in Paris--pt. VI. The first Secretary of State: 1789 to 1792: A new post in New York; Mr. Jefferson is greatly too democratic; Two cocks in the pit; The end of a stormy tour--pt. VII. The leader of the opposition: 1793 to 1800: In wait at Monticello; To the Vice Presidency; The reign of witches; Adams vs. Jefferson redux; A desperate state of affairs--pt. VIII. The President of the United States: 1801 to 1809: The new order of things begins; A confident president; Victories, scandal, and a secret sickness; The air of enchantment! ; The people were never more happy; A deep, dark, and widespread conspiracy; This damned embargo; A farewell to ultimate power--pt. IX. The master of Monticello: 1809 to the end: My body, mind, and affairs; To form statesmen, legislators and judges; The knell of the union; No, doctor, nothing more--Epilogue: All honor to Jefferson.
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Publishers Weekly, 2012-07-16 Another Jefferson biography (right on the heels of Henry Wiencek's Master of the Mountain)! Fortunately, Meacham's is a fine work, deserving a place high on the list of long biographies of its subject even if rivaled by such shorter ones as Richard B. Bernstein's Thomas Jefferson. Like David McCullough's John Adams (to which it can be seen as a counterpart), Meacham's book is a love letter to its subject. While he's fully conversant with long-held skepticism about aspects of Jefferson's character (his dissimulation, for instance) and his stance toward slavery, Meacham gives him the benefit of the doubt throughout (on, for example, his Revolutionary War governorship of Virginia and the draconian 1807 embargo). To Meacham, who won a Pulitzer for his American Lion, Jefferson was a philosopher/politician, and "the most successful political figure of the first half century of the American republic." Those words only faintly suggest the inspirational tone of the entire work. Meacham understandably holds Jefferson up as the remarkable figure he was. But in the end, as fine a rendering of the nation's third president as this book may be, it comes too close to idolization. Jefferson's critics still have something valid to say, even if their voices here are stilled. Agent: Amanda Urban, ICM. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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