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Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power


Book Overview: Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

In this magnificent biography, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Lion and Franklin and Winston brings vividly to life an extraordinary man and his remarkable times. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power gives us Jefferson the politician and president, a great and complex human being forever engaged in the wars of his era. Philosophers think; politicians maneuver. Jefferson's genius was that he was both and could do both, often simultaneously. Such is the art of power.

Thomas Jefferson hated confrontation, and yet his understanding of power and of human nature enabled him to move men and to marshal ideas, to learn from his mistakes, and to prevail. Passionate about many things--women, his family, books, science, architecture, gardens, friends, Monticello, and Paris--Jefferson loved America most, and he strove over and over again, despite fierce opposition, to realize his vision: the creation, survival, and success of popular government in America. Jon Meacham lets us see Jefferson's world as Jefferson himself saw it, and to appreciate how Jefferson found the means to endure and win in the face of rife partisan division, economic uncertainty, and external threat. Drawing on archives in the United States, England, and France, as well as unpublished Jefferson presidential papers, Meacham presents Jefferson as the most successful political leader of the early republic, and perhaps in all of American history.

The father of the ideal of individual liberty, of the Louisiana Purchase, of the Lewis and Clark expedition, and of the settling of the West, Jefferson recognized that the genius of humanity--and the genius of the new nation--lay in the possibility of progress, of discovering the undiscovered and seeking the unknown. From the writing of the Declaration of Independence to elegant dinners in Paris and in the President's House; from political maneuverings in the boardinghouses and legislative halls of Philadelphia and New York to the infant capital on the Potomac; from his complicated life at Monticello, his breathtaking house and plantation in Virginia, to the creation of the University of Virginia, Jefferson was central to the age. Here too is the personal Jefferson, a man of appetite, sensuality, and passion.

The Jefferson story resonates today not least because he led his nation through ferocious partisanship and cultural warfare amid economic change and external threats, and also because he embodies an eternal drama, the struggle of the leadership of a nation to achieve greatness in a difficult and confounding world.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review - The Washington Post - Entertainment Weekly - The Seattle Times - St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Bloomberg Businessweek

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PublisherRandom House Trade Paperbacks
Publication Date2013-10-29
EditionFirst PB Edition
Dimensionsin x in x in
Weight lbs
Jon Meacham is a renowned American writer, journalist, and historian. He served as the former executive editor and executive vice president at Random House and was a contributing editor at Time Magazine. Renowned for his depth of knowledge and nuanced understanding of American politics, Meacham has made significant contributions to the literature and historical narrative of the U.S. Meacham's prowess as an author is underlined by his Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for his biography “American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House.” His range of historical works, including "Franklin and Winston," "Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power," and "The Soul of America," have garnered critical acclaim for their insightful exploration of US history and leadership. A respected media figure, Meacham also contributes regularly to Morning Joe on MSNBC and writes for The New York Times and The Washington Post. In recognition of his efforts in promoting understanding through historical narratives, Meacham was awarded the Chattanooga History Center’s inaugural History Makers Award in 2015.

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