The Real Thomas Jefferson (American Classic Series)


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I feel blessed to have come across this used bookstore treasure. It will be on my shelf and in my mind and heart for the remainder of my years. Five stars because only five are available. Nov 06, Jude Flurry rated it really liked it Shelves: biography. The biography itself is a short, but factual, synopsis of Jefferson's life 0nly pgs. It relies primarily on the writings of Jefferson and those close to him. The book does a good job debunking some of the myths surrounding the man, such as his alleged affair with Sally Hemmings.

There is a long appendix of alphabetized quotes at the end, taking up over half of the book. It seems like it is more for reference than reading all the way through. I really enjoyed the biogra The biography itself is a short, but factual, synopsis of Jefferson's life 0nly pgs.

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I really enjoyed the biography section at the front, despite the fact that it was very short, and not too detailed. Feb 09, Jill rated it it was amazing Shelves: historical-non-fiction. I really enjoy reading about the Founding Fathers, their lives and experiences. This was no exception, Thomas Jefferson was an amazing, brilliant, thoughtful person that shaped the way American values are.

I really enjoyed at the end the quotes from him organized by topic. This is a really well-written, fascinating series. Jul 04, Mike rated it it was amazing.

Kennedy Classics - The Real Thomas Jefferson

This was a very interesting and insightful book on the life of one of our founding fathers. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in American history. May 26, Larissa Self rated it it was amazing Shelves: my-fravorite-reads. Love the founding father's history and this book filled a lot of Jefferson 's history that I didn't know.

Great read for history nuts. Feb 06, Kim rated it it was amazing. Jul 05, Charis rated it it was amazing. Jul 12, Robert Bradley rated it it was amazing. Sep 05, Brent Ecenbarger rated it it was ok Shelves: presidents , biography.

When I first started this book, I had a lot of good background information on Jefferson from the previous two books I had read in the genre biographies of Washington and Adams , as he had served as a Vice President and Secretary of State for their subjects. This book was the highest rated biography on Goodreads about Jefferson, and also highly rated on Amazon.

The book's introduction also stressed how so many of the biographies about Jefferson have an agenda, and how the authors were attempting When I first started this book, I had a lot of good background information on Jefferson from the previous two books I had read in the genre biographies of Washington and Adams , as he had served as a Vice President and Secretary of State for their subjects.

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The book's introduction also stressed how so many of the biographies about Jefferson have an agenda, and how the authors were attempting to write the definitive fair and accurate biography. Unfortunately, then the book began, and it was apparent that the authors all worshipped Jefferson, and were willing to either not mention any negative facts about Jefferson, relegate them to a foot note, or in the case of the most infamous scandal , discredit it in a page based on such detailed analysis as "it was not in his character to do as he was accused.

Born into - Jefferson inherited quite a bit of wealth, property and slaves, and married into even more. He also was healthy which was not true for most of his family. However, many of Jefferson's attributes were not necessarily helpful as they were with Washington. This redhaired, soft spoken individual did not command one's attention by presence alone, instead relying on his wit and eloquence as a speaker to do the job. Pre-president - Much like Ben Franklin, Jefferson was a man of many interests and succeeded in most of all them. One area in particular that stood out was Jefferson's writings.

After reading Adams and Washington's letters, one can't help but be amazed at the difference in both style and form; it is small wonder that Jefferson was chosen to write the Declaration of Independence as most all of his writings far surpassed those of the authors of this book in terms of clarity. Presidential career - This is where this book really skimped over Jefferson's terms, spending about 50 pages over eight years.

High points are certainly the Louisiana Purchase, and repealing the worst acts of the Adams administration; however Jefferson's embargo acts and naval Barbary "war" were both black marks on his second term. Americans were happy however, as the string of republican presidents that followed indicates. Vice President - It's hard to imagine any Vice President that followed to be as bad as Aaron Burr, an individual charged with treason, that went on the lamb after killing Alexander Hamilton and had guises of seceding to start his own country.

Made for an interesting read though. She seemed like a nice enough lady, and he never remarried. Post presidency - Jefferson's primary post presidency achievements were serving as the first president of a university and being the nation's most prolific letter writer, which due to his copies of each letter has greatly aided historians.

His architectural ideas also continued to contribute to modern design. Book overall - What a letdown after the last two particularly Zernow's awesome Washington book. If you're looking for a book that goes into detail like "then he was elected to the state house" with no explanation beyond that, or that only relays one story regarding Jefferson's slaves an account of when he returned after a long absence and was greeted by crying and cheers of joy for his return but skips over his failures to actually do anything as politician or slave owner to aid in his anti-slavery sentiments, then this is the book for you.

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The Real Thomas Jefferson : The True Story of America's Philosopher of Freedom

Also check the footnotes, and see how few scholarly texts are cited. I gave it a 2nd star because it includes Jefferson's writings at the end, but this is not a great choice for fair analysis or in depth history of our third president. Mar 06, Jeff Stockett rated it really liked it Shelves: biography , political. This book was amazing. I love the approach that it took to Thomas Jefferson. There are so many books at there that purport to know who Jefferson was and present an interpretation of him.


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This book did not try to interpret him at all. The premise behind this book and the reason for the title of "The Real Thomas Jefferson" was that we will get the most accurate picture of him if we let him speak for himself. Most of the book is drawn from letters that he, himself, wrote.

There are also excerpts fr This book was amazing.

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There are also excerpts from letters and writings of people that knew him. A few things that really impressed me about Thomas Jefferson: First, I was really impressed by his accomplishments as president of the United States. He worked to repeal the alien and sedition acts. He won a war against pirates in Tripoli who were not allowing ships to enter the Mediterranean peacefully. He negotiated with Napoleon and executed the Louisiana purchase nearly doubling the size of the United States. He paid down a large sum of the debt.

He made peace with the Native Americans. He did all this and still was able to significantly lower federal taxes. I sure wish we could have a president of that caliber today. Second, I was impressed with his religious beliefs.


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  • There are those historians today who wish to pain Thomas Jefferson as a mere deist, one who believes there was a creator but that creator started the universe and walked away. According to Jefferson's own writings, that is not an accurate picture of him. His beliefs were very personal to him, so he wasn't one that was actively preaching Christianity.

    However, he called himself a Christian and even carried around a version of the New Testament that he made himself by compiling only those parts that are the words of the Savior himself. Thomas Jefferson even went so far as to say that he believed in the pure Christianity of the Bible and that he believed that there would be a restoration of the ancient Christianity that would take place within the United States. He believed that all Christian sects were corrupt which is why he never identified with any of them but that the religious freedom in the United States would allow for "pure" Christianity to return.

    The last thing I really liked about Thomas Jefferson was his true desire to just be with his family and study his books. He never really wanted to be a politician but did it out of love for his country. I definitely recommend reading this book for anyone who wants to know more about who Thomas Jefferson really was.

    The Essentials: Five Books on Thomas Jefferson | History | Smithsonian

    It is a fascinating look at one of our greatest founders. View all 4 comments. Feb 20, LaRae rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction.

    The Real Thomas Jefferson (American Classic Series) The Real Thomas Jefferson (American Classic Series)
    The Real Thomas Jefferson (American Classic Series) The Real Thomas Jefferson (American Classic Series)
    The Real Thomas Jefferson (American Classic Series) The Real Thomas Jefferson (American Classic Series)
    The Real Thomas Jefferson (American Classic Series) The Real Thomas Jefferson (American Classic Series)
    The Real Thomas Jefferson (American Classic Series) The Real Thomas Jefferson (American Classic Series)

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