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.
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.
Table of Contents
|1||A Young Gentleman of Virginia (1743-1774)||15|
|"It would be to my advantage to go to the college"||18|
|2||"We hold these truths..." (1763-1776)||29|
|"All men are created equal"||48|
|3||The Hard Work of Revolution (1776-1784)||52|
|"Almighty God hath created the mind free"||59|
|4||"Behold me at length on the vaunted scene of Europe!" (1784-1789)||72|
|5||"The parties styled republican and federal" (1789-1793)||100|
|6||Touching Earth (1794-1797)||127|
|7||"The reign of witches" (1797-1801)||142|
|"The aspect of our politics has wonderfully changed"||148|
|8||"We are all republicans, we are all federalists" (1801-1805)||164|
|"Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle"||166|
|"A Wall of Separation"||169|
|9||"A splendid misery" (1805-1809)||190|
|10||Enthusiasm and Anguish (1809-1826)||203|
|"All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man"||225|
|Epilogue: "Take care of me when dead..."||227|
|Further Reading and Websites||241|
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