Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power
If you think you know all about Thomas Jefferson, read Jon Meacham’s brilliant 2012 biography, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power. Mr. Meacham presents an unblinking examination of Jefferson’s career in all of its triumphs and contradictions. We see the political mastermind of the Declaration of Independence – and the Virginia governor who abandoned his state to British invasion in 1781. Jefferson argued many times that slavery should be ended, yet he kept many humans enslaved. After his death, only those who could support themselves with a trade were freed; notably Sally Hemings and the children Jefferson sired on her.
Liberally aided by his own words, Meacham brings Jefferson to life as a diplomat, philosopher, and a president who described the office as “splendid misery.” Jefferson truly did wield his power artfully, but as Meacham’s description of his beloved Monticello demonstrates, Jefferson also understood the power of art. The world created by Jefferson leads us to more clearly understand the architect of America, and so does Jon Meacham’s masterful Thomas Jefferson. 100% recommended for all readers!