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The Inner Jefferson
Synopses & Reviews
Thomas Jefferson's personal life has always been a puzzle to biographers. Even his contemporaries found him difficult to know. In Jefferson's correspondence, however, Andrew Burstein has found a key to the inner man. By examining seven decades of letters and private accounts, Burstein is able to confront widespread misunderstandings about Jefferson's romantic life and provide insight into the contradictions that still surround our third president. He shows Jefferson to have been a man of substance and character, yet one possessed of a mean streak, alternately strong and frail, convivial and reclusive, ordinary and extraordinary.
Burstein appears as a prominent commentator in Ken Burns's PBS biography Thomas Jefferson. In The Inner Jefferson he removes our modern preconceptions and recreates the mental and moral world of the eighteenth century, depicting Jefferson as a man of sentiment as well as a man of reason. He discovers how, in the wake of the American Revolution, this retiring gentleman, while appearing to many cold and calculating, could also become a popular idol and remain an enduring symbol of the democratic spirit. Burstein's penetrating and thoughtful portrait makes one of our most complex and perennially fascinating Founders accessible to readers everywhere.
Thomas Jefferson's personal life has always been a puzzle tobiographers. Even his contemporaries found him difficult to know. In Jefferson'scorrespondence, however, Andrew Burstein has found a key to the inner man. Thispenetrating and thoughtful portait confronts widespread misunderstandings aboutJefferson's romantic life and provides insight into the contradictions that stillsurround our third president.
This penetrating and thoughtful portrait confronts widespread misunderstandings about Jefferson's romantic life and provides insight into the contradictions that still surround our third president.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 293-325) and index.
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Biography » Historical