FABULOUS biography of Thomas Jefferson the political figure as well as Jefferson the man. It reads much like a novel and was a very engaging read. I highly recommend this to anyone seeking a biography.
I struggled to get through this book, but now that the struggle is over --- I'm glad I waded through it. I learned quite a bit about Thomas Jefferson. The author doesn't sugar-coat Jefferson's personal foibles, or political thoughts.
I learned more about Jefferson's life and about the formative year of America as a nation during and after the Revolution. Ellis focuses on some key chapters in Jefferson's life and explores the contradictory actions/thoughts/writings produced during those periods.
While it was slow going for me at times, (I think the extensive quotations from Jeffersan hiscotemporary political figures slowed down the reading.) I am glad to have finished it. I think it was a fair look at the multi-faceted man that today is too often held up as a one dimensional cardboard cut-out used to suit political whims.
Popularly known for the sunny language of the Declaration of Independence, a Southern "gentleman", and a father to Sally Hemmings's children.
What is less popularly known is his inability to envision a United States of America as an industrialized and entreprising nation. A great foe to Alexander Hamilton.
Essentially, a well-educated man without the strength to act on his education when faced with questions that dealt with humanity and morality.
Excellent book. Should be a must read for every American citizen.
Very good biography of Jefferson, the man, instead of Jefferson, the politician. Ellis does a wonderful job as usual of depicting the Colonial period in an in-depth but accessible way.