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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.
Bernstein, Richard B., "Thomas Jefferson: The Revolution of Ideas" (2004). Books. 57.