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Thomas Jefferson: The Revolution of Ideas (Oxford Portraits)by R. B. Bernstein
Synopses & Reviews
In this new concise biography Thomas Jefferson historian R.B. Bernstein finds the key to this enigmatic Founder not as a great political figure, but as leader of a "revolution of ideas that would make the world over again".
Bernstein examines Jefferson's strengths and weaknesses, his achievements and failures, his triumphs, contradictions, and failings. Thomas Jefferson details his luxurious (and debt-burdened) life as a Virginia gentleman to his passionate belief in democracy, from his tortured defense of slavery to his relationship with Sally Hemings. An architect, inventor, writer, diplomat, propagandist, planter, party leader Jefferson was multifaceted, and Bernstein explores these roles even as he illuminates Jefferson's central place in American enlightenment the "revolution of ideas" that did so much to create the nation we are today. Bernstein also examines the less-remembered points in Jefferson's thinking the nature of the Union, his vision of who was entitled to citizenship, his dread of debt (both personal and national).
Thomas Jefferson is the latest title in the Oxford Portraits series, which offers informative and insightful biographies of people whose lives shaped their times and continue to influence ours. Each volume in the series is heavily based on primary documents, including writings by and about each subject. Every Oxford Portrait is illustrated with a wealth of photographs, original letters, manuscripts, and memorabilia that frame the personality and achievements of its subject against the backdrop of history. Every volume in the series can be incorporated into the American history curriculum at the middle and high school levels.
This volume in the Oxford Portraits series explores the life of Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826): first Secretary of State, second Vice President, fifth President of the United States, and a renaissance man of early America. This biography sets him in context - as a member of the Virginia gentry, an able and skilled lawyer, a talented politician who nonetheless shunned the political spotlight, and the finest writer of his era - while also illuminating the many contradictions of his life. Backmatter includes a chronology, further reading and an index.
About the Author
R. B. Bernstein is Adjunct Professor of Law at the New York Law School and director of online operations at Heights Books, Inc. The author or editor of eighteen books on American constitutional history, including Are We to Be a Nation? and Amending America (both nominees for the Pulitzer, Bancroft, and Parkman Prizes), he lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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