Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

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Random House Publishing Group, Nov 13, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 800 pages
1646 Reviews
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The New York Times Book Review • The Washington Post • Entertainment Weekly • The Seattle Times • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • Bloomberg Businessweek

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 Drawing on archives in the United States, England, and France, as well as unpublished Jefferson presidential papers, Meacham presents Jefferson as the most successful political leader of the early republic, and perhaps in all of American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.

Praise for Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power
 
“This is probably the best single-volume biography of Jefferson ever written.”—Gordon S. Wood
 
“A big, grand, absorbing exploration of not just Jefferson and his role in history but also Jefferson the man, humanized as never before.”Entertainment Weekly

“[Meacham] captures who Jefferson was, not just as a statesman but as a man. . . . By the end of the book . . . the reader is likely to feel as if he is losing a dear friend. . . . [An] absorbing tale.”—The Christian Science Monitor

“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


From the Hardcover edition.
 

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Review: Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

User Review  - Adam Morel - Goodreads

Befitting its protagonist, Jon Meacham's study of Thomas Jefferson is sweeping and nuanced. The last chapters of this biography, in particular, recounting Jefferson's post-presidential years and ... Read full review

Review: Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

User Review  - Sotiris Makrygiannis - Goodreads

one can learn a lot from American politics and especially from a founding father. where is the biographies of the European founding father's? we don't even know their names. #shame Read full review

Contents

TWO Vhat Fixed the Destinies of My Life
27
FOUR Temptations and Trials
40
THE REVOLUTIONARY
64
1 Shock of Electricity GONG mm
78
EIGHT The Famous Mr Jefferson
109
REFORMER AND GOVERNOR
117
TWELVE A Troublesome Office
131
THIRTEEN Redeoats at Monticello
137
TWENTYEIGHT To the Vice Presidency
299
TWENTYNINE The Reign ofVVitches
311
THIRTY Adams vs Jefferson Redux
331
STATES 1801 TO 1809
345
THIRTYTVVO The New Order ofThings Begins 247
360
THIRTYFOUR Victories Scandal and a Secret Sickness
372
THIRTYFIVE The Air of Enchantment
383
THIRTYSIX The People Were Never More Ilappy 294
394

FOURTEEN To Burn on Through Death
144
FIFTEEN Return to the Arena
153
SIXTEEN A Struggle for Respect
161
A MAN OF THE WORLD 1785 TO 1789
179
NINETEEN The Philosophical World
188
TWENTY His Head and His Heart
197
TWENTYONE Do You Like Our New Constitution? 2 05
205
THE FIRST SECRETARY OF STATE
229
TWENTYFOUR Mr Jefferson Is Greatly Too Democratic
246
TWENTYIIVE Two Cocks in the Pit
259
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
267
THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
281
THIRTYIsEVEN A Deep Dark and Videspread Conspiracy
425
THIRTYNINE A Farewell to Ultimate Power
436
THE MASTER OF MONTICELLO
443
FORIYONE To Form Statesmen Legislators and Judges
462
FORTYTWO The Knell of the Union
474
FORTYTHREE No Doctor Nothing More
490
EPILOGUE All Honor tojeflerson
497
AUTHORS NOTE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
507
NOTES
691
ILLUSTRATION CREDITS
731
INDEX
737
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Jon Meacham received the Pulitzer Prize for his 2008 biography of Andrew Jackson, American Lion. He is also the author of the New York Times bestsellers Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, American Gospel, and Franklin and Winston. Meacham, who teaches at Vanderbilt University and at The University of the South, is a fellow of the Society of American Historians. He lives in Nashville and in Sewanee with his wife and children.

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