Wintersalen Sale
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Tour our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    Original Essays | September 30, 2014

    Brian Doyle: IMG The Rude Burl of Our Masks



    One day when I was 12 years old and setting off on my newspaper route after school my mom said will you stop at the doctor's and pick up something... Continue »

    spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$28.00
New Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
18 Local Warehouse Biography- Presidents and Heads of State
6 Remote Warehouse US History- Colonial America

More copies of this ISBN

Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves

by

Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves Cover

ISBN13: 9780374299569
ISBN10: 0374299560
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Is there anything new to say about Thomas Jefferson and slavery? The answer is a resounding yes. Master of the Mountain, Henry Wienceks eloquent, persuasive book—based on new information coming from archaeological work at Monticello and on hitherto overlooked or disregarded evidence in Jeffersons papers—opens up a huge, poorly understood dimension of Jeffersons world. We must, Wiencek suggests, follow the money.

 

So far, historians have offered only easy irony or paradox to explain this extraordinary Founding Father who was an emancipationist in his youth and then recoiled from his own inspiring rhetoric and equivocated about slavery; who enjoyed his renown as a revolutionary leader yet kept some of his own children as slaves. But Wienceks Jefferson is a man of business and public affairs who makes a success of his debt-ridden plantation thanks to what he calls the “silent profits” gained from his slaves—and thanks to a skewed moral universe that he and thousands of others readily inhabited. We see Jefferson taking out a slave-equity line of credit with a Dutch bank to finance the building of Monticello and deftly creating smoke screens when visitors are dismayed by his apparent endorsement of a system they thought hed vowed to overturn. It is not a pretty story. Slave boys are whipped to make them work in the nail factory at Monticello that pays Jeffersons grocery bills. Parents are divided from children—in his ledgers they are recast as money—while he composes theories that obscure the dynamics of what some of his friends call “a vile commerce.”

 

Many people of Jeffersons time saw a catastrophe coming and tried to stop it, but not Jefferson. The pursuit of happiness had been badly distorted, and an oligarchy was getting very rich. Is this the quintessential American story?

Review:

"That the author of the Declaration of Independence owned slaves, likely fathered several children with a slave, and used slaves as collateral to borrow funds to build Monticello is widely acknowledged. Historians often explain this paradox by claiming Jefferson was powerless to change the system, accusing those who now criticize Jefferson of 'presentism.' Yet NBCC Award — winning historian Wiencek (The Hairstons: An American Family in Black and White) reveals that many of Jefferson's contemporaries, such as Quaker plantation owners in the 1770s and a prominent Virginian, Edward Coles, in 1819, freed their slaves. Coles begged Jefferson to lend his voice to the antislavery movement, as did fellow revolutionaries such as Lafayette and Thomas Paine. But, Wiencek says that the founder who referred to blacks as 'degraded and different' with 'no place in our country,' had a 'fundamental belief in the righteousness of his power.' Jefferson, asserts Wiencek, began to prevaricate about slavery after computing 'the silent profit' of 4% per year from the birth of slave children. This meticulous account indicts not only Jefferson but modern apologists who wish to retain him as a moral standard of liberty. Wiencek's vivid, detailed history casts a new slant on a complex man. 8 pages b&w illus. Agent: Howard Morhaim, Howard Morhaim Literary Agency." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

Henry Wienceks eloquent, persuasive Master of the Mountain—based on new information coming from archival research, archaeological work at Monticello, and hitherto overlooked or disregarded evidence in Thomas Jeffersons own papers—opens up a huge, poorly understood dimension of Jeffersons faraway world. We must, Wiencek suggests, follow the money.

Wienceks Jefferson is a man of business and public affairs who makes a success of his debt-ridden plantation thanks to what he calls the “silent profit” gained from his slaves—and thanks to the skewed morals of the political and social world that he and thousands of others readily inhabited. It is not a pretty story. Slave boys are whipped to make them work in the nail factory at Monticello that pays Jeffersons grocery bills. Slaves are bought, sold, given as gifts, and used as collateral for the loan that pays for Monticellos construction—while Jefferson composes theories that obscure the dynamics of what he himself called “the execrable commerce.” Many people saw a catastrophe coming and tried to stop it, but not Jefferson. The pursuit of happiness had become deeply corrupted, and an oligarchy was getting very rich. Is this the quintessential American story?

Synopsis:

Is there anything new to say about Thomas Jefferson and slavery? The answer is a resounding yes. Master of the Mountain, Henry Wienceks eloquent, persuasive book—based on new information coming from archaeological work at Monticello and on hitherto overlooked or disregarded evidence in Jeffersons papers—opens up a huge, poorly understood dimension of Jeffersons world. We must, Wiencek suggests, follow the money.

So far, historians have offered only easy irony or paradox to explain this extraordinary Founding Father who was an emancipationist in his youth and then recoiled from his own inspiring rhetoric and equivocated about slavery; who enjoyed his renown as a revolutionary leader yet kept some of his own children as slaves. But Wienceks Jefferson is a man of business and public affairs who makes a success of his debt-ridden plantation thanks to what he calls the “silent profits” gained from his slaves—and thanks to a skewed moral universe that he and thousands of others readily inhabited. We see Jefferson taking out a slave-equity line of credit with a Dutch bank to finance the building of Monticello and deftly creating smoke screens when visitors are dismayed by his apparent endorsement of a system they thought hed vowed to overturn. It is not a pretty story. Slave boys are whipped to make them work in the nail factory at Monticello that pays Jeffersons grocery bills. Parents are divided from children—in his ledgers they are recast as money—while he composes theories that obscure the dynamics of what some of his friends call “a vile commerce.”

Many people of Jeffersons time saw a catastrophe coming and tried to stop it, but not Jefferson. The pursuit of happiness had been badly distorted, and an oligarchy was getting very rich. Is this the quintessential American story?

About the Author

Henry Wiencek, a nationally prominent historian and writer, is the author of several books, including The Hairstons: An American Family in Black and White, which won a National Book Critics Circle Award in 1999, and An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America (FSG, 2003). He lives with his wife and son in Charlottesville, Virginia.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

hla42, January 20, 2013 (view all comments by hla42)
So much has been written and non written regarding Jeffersons place in history. I found Henry Wiencek's "Master of the Mountain", a intellectual balance to " Jefferson"..by Meacham.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374299569
Author:
Wiencek, Henry
Publisher:
Farrar Straus Giroux
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
United States / Revolutionary Period (1775-1800)
Subject:
Presidents & Heads of State
Subject:
US History-General
Subject:
US History-Revolution and Constitution Era
Subject:
Biography-Presidents and Heads of State
Subject:
Slavery
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20121031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
8 Pages of Black-and-White Illustrations
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb

Other books you might like

  1. Who I Am: A Memoir
    Sale Trade Paper $8.98
  2. Alone Together: Why We Expect More... Used Trade Paper $9.00
  3. A Dance with Jane Austen: How a... New Hardcover $24.95
  4. Enriched Classics #5: The Canterbury... Used Trade Paper $4.00

Related Subjects


Biography » Presidents and Heads of State
Featured Titles » History and Social Science
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Slavery
History and Social Science » US History » Colonial America
History and Social Science » US History » General
History and Social Science » US History » Presidents » Jefferson, Thomas
History and Social Science » US History » Revolution and Constitution Era
History and Social Science » US History » US Presidency
History and Social Science » World History » General

Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$28.00 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374299569 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "That the author of the Declaration of Independence owned slaves, likely fathered several children with a slave, and used slaves as collateral to borrow funds to build Monticello is widely acknowledged. Historians often explain this paradox by claiming Jefferson was powerless to change the system, accusing those who now criticize Jefferson of 'presentism.' Yet NBCC Award — winning historian Wiencek (The Hairstons: An American Family in Black and White) reveals that many of Jefferson's contemporaries, such as Quaker plantation owners in the 1770s and a prominent Virginian, Edward Coles, in 1819, freed their slaves. Coles begged Jefferson to lend his voice to the antislavery movement, as did fellow revolutionaries such as Lafayette and Thomas Paine. But, Wiencek says that the founder who referred to blacks as 'degraded and different' with 'no place in our country,' had a 'fundamental belief in the righteousness of his power.' Jefferson, asserts Wiencek, began to prevaricate about slavery after computing 'the silent profit' of 4% per year from the birth of slave children. This meticulous account indicts not only Jefferson but modern apologists who wish to retain him as a moral standard of liberty. Wiencek's vivid, detailed history casts a new slant on a complex man. 8 pages b&w illus. Agent: Howard Morhaim, Howard Morhaim Literary Agency." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , Henry Wienceks eloquent, persuasive Master of the Mountain—based on new information coming from archival research, archaeological work at Monticello, and hitherto overlooked or disregarded evidence in Thomas Jeffersons own papers—opens up a huge, poorly understood dimension of Jeffersons faraway world. We must, Wiencek suggests, follow the money.

Wienceks Jefferson is a man of business and public affairs who makes a success of his debt-ridden plantation thanks to what he calls the “silent profit” gained from his slaves—and thanks to the skewed morals of the political and social world that he and thousands of others readily inhabited. It is not a pretty story. Slave boys are whipped to make them work in the nail factory at Monticello that pays Jeffersons grocery bills. Slaves are bought, sold, given as gifts, and used as collateral for the loan that pays for Monticellos construction—while Jefferson composes theories that obscure the dynamics of what he himself called “the execrable commerce.” Many people saw a catastrophe coming and tried to stop it, but not Jefferson. The pursuit of happiness had become deeply corrupted, and an oligarchy was getting very rich. Is this the quintessential American story?

"Synopsis" by , Is there anything new to say about Thomas Jefferson and slavery? The answer is a resounding yes. Master of the Mountain, Henry Wienceks eloquent, persuasive book—based on new information coming from archaeological work at Monticello and on hitherto overlooked or disregarded evidence in Jeffersons papers—opens up a huge, poorly understood dimension of Jeffersons world. We must, Wiencek suggests, follow the money.

So far, historians have offered only easy irony or paradox to explain this extraordinary Founding Father who was an emancipationist in his youth and then recoiled from his own inspiring rhetoric and equivocated about slavery; who enjoyed his renown as a revolutionary leader yet kept some of his own children as slaves. But Wienceks Jefferson is a man of business and public affairs who makes a success of his debt-ridden plantation thanks to what he calls the “silent profits” gained from his slaves—and thanks to a skewed moral universe that he and thousands of others readily inhabited. We see Jefferson taking out a slave-equity line of credit with a Dutch bank to finance the building of Monticello and deftly creating smoke screens when visitors are dismayed by his apparent endorsement of a system they thought hed vowed to overturn. It is not a pretty story. Slave boys are whipped to make them work in the nail factory at Monticello that pays Jeffersons grocery bills. Parents are divided from children—in his ledgers they are recast as money—while he composes theories that obscure the dynamics of what some of his friends call “a vile commerce.”

Many people of Jeffersons time saw a catastrophe coming and tried to stop it, but not Jefferson. The pursuit of happiness had been badly distorted, and an oligarchy was getting very rich. Is this the quintessential American story?

spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.