Jefferson: Architect of American Liberty

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Basic Books, Apr 25, 2017 - Biography & Autobiography - 640 pages
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From an eminent scholar of the American South, the first full-scale biography of Thomas Jefferson since 1970
Not since Merrill Peterson's Thomas Jefferson and the New Nation has a scholar attempted to write a comprehensive biography of the most complex Founding Father. In Jefferson, John B. Boles plumbs every facet of Thomas Jefferson's life, all while situating him amid the sweeping upheaval of his times. We meet Jefferson the politician and political thinker--as well as Jefferson the architect, scientist, bibliophile, paleontologist, musician, and gourmet. We witness him drafting of the Declaration of Independence, negotiating the Louisiana Purchase, and inventing a politics that emphasized the states over the federal government--a political philosophy that shapes our national life to this day.
Boles offers new insight into Jefferson's actions and thinking on race. His Jefferson is not a hypocrite, but a tragic figure--a man who could not hold simultaneously to his views on abolition, democracy, and patriarchal responsibility. Yet despite his flaws, Jefferson's ideas would outlive him and make him into nothing less than the architect of American liberty.

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Jefferson: Architect of American Liberty

User Review  - Margaret Kappanadze - Book Verdict

Boles (history, Rice Univ.) portrays a Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826) motivated by an unwavering fervor for liberty and the protection of the republic and a fear of despotism. Thoroughly discussed are ... Read full review


Young Legislator
These Are Our Grievances
Revolutionary Lawmaker
A Congress Little Numerous but Very Contentious
On the Vaunted Scene of Europe
Liberty Is to Be Gained by Inches
Political Faith and Presidential Style
We Are Acting for All Mankind
Louisiana for a Song
Steadily in Her Course
The Collapse of Political Consensus
War Embargo or Nothing
Returning to the Scenes of My Birth and Early Life

From Paris to New York
Jefferson Versus Hamilton
The Specter of the French Revolution
Totally Absorbed in My Rural Occupations
The Vice Presidency
Reign of Witches
DC 18011809
We Ought Not to Die Before We Have Explained Ourselves
Living with Paradox
One Last Crusade
The Sage of Monticello
About the Author Also by John B Boles
List of Abbreviations in Notes Bibliographical Essay Notes

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About the author (2017)

John B. Boles is the William P. Hobby Professor of History at Rice University and the former editor of the Journal of Southern History. He lives in Houston, Texas.

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