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Biography of Thomas Jefferson: The 5 Most Interesting Published Works

By    |   Friday, 22 May 2015 12:27 PM

There are enough biographies and other books written about Thomas Jefferson to fill a personal library.

Here are five published works the general reader might find the most interesting:

1. "American Sphinx." Joseph J. Ellis describes delving into Jefferson’s paradoxical life as "as if a pathologist, just about to begin an autopsy, has discovered that the body on the operating table was still breathing," according to Amazon.com. But in his 1998 book, Ellis examined the contradictions and convictions of the Founding Father who became “all things to all people.”

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2. "Thomas Jefferson’s Creme Brulee."
Jefferson the gourmet bon vivant gets a look in Thomas J. Craughwell’s story of how Jefferson agreed to free one of his slaves, James Hemings, if only Hemings would travel with him to Paris and master French cooking.

3. "The Hemingses of Monticello."
Speaking of Hemings, Annette Gordon-Reed, historian and legal scholar, tells the story of the slave family who served Jefferson’s family for generations. “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family” was published in 2008, before DNA evidence reignited speculation about Jefferson’s affair with slave Sally Hemings.

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4: “Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power” (2013)
by Jon Meacham gives the reader a look at how Jefferson, a man of philosophical bent who avoided personal confrontation, nonetheless managed in his own way to accomplish the maneuverings necessary to politics and the exercise of power. According to Amazon.com: “Philosophers think; politicians maneuver. Jefferson’s genius was that he was both and could do both, often simultaneously. Such is the art of power.”

5. “Twilight at Monticello” (2009)
by Alan Pell Crawford examined the winding down of a brilliant life and career — remaining very much a force and influence in Virginia life and U.S. politics — in the 17 years between the end of Jefferson’s return to Monticello and his death.

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There are enough biographies and other books written about Thomas Jefferson to fill a personal library.
biography of thomas jefferson, interesting, published, works
Friday, 22 May 2015 12:27 PM
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