American Sphinx

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Nov 19, 1998 - Biography & Autobiography - 464 pages
18 Reviews
Following Thomas Jefferson from the drafting of the Declaration of Independence to his retirement in Monticello, Joseph J. Ellis unravels the contradictions of the Jeffersonian character.  He gives us the slaveholding libertarian who was capable of decrying mescegenation while maintaing an intimate relationship with his slave, Sally Hemmings; the enemy of government power who exercisdd it audaciously as president; the visionarty who remained curiously blind to the inconsistencies in his nature.  American Sphinx is a marvel of scholarship, a delight to read, and an essential gloss on the Jeffersonian legacy.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - msaucier818 - LibraryThing

Another solid book about one of our great characters in American History. Jefferson is one of the most hypocritical Founding Fathers who was nonetheless great in his time or any. This book focuses ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rivkat - LibraryThing

Thomas Jefferson again! The man had an enormous capacity to write beautiful sentiments and then not live up to them, that’s for sure. Ellis, writing before the DNA testing became definitive, expresses ... Read full review

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About the author (1998)

JOSEPH J. ELLIS is the author of many works of American history including Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize; and American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson, which won the National Book Award. He recently retired from his position as the Ford Foundation Professor of History at Mount Holyoke College and lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with his wife and their youngest son.

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