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Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power (2012)

de Jon Meacham

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"Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power" gives readers 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, catapulting him into becoming the most successful political leader of the early republic, and perhaps in all of American history.… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 69 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Very informative and balanced biography of Jefferson. This is the book I was looking for. It also provides great insight into the forming of our country. Highly recommended!
( )
  RandomWally | Jun 6, 2022 |
Not what I was looking for. I've been looking for a book which looks at the Jefferson Administration and focuses on the political issues and strategic decisions J made at the time. This biography seemed like a good pick because of the subtitle: "Art of power." I was wrong. This is a conventional biography, which spends more time talking about Jefferson's slippers and what kind of dinner guest he was, than it does about the decisions he made as president. The author mostly takes a "man of his time" approach to the issue of Jefferson, Hemmings, and slavery, but it doesn't sugar coat too much. It does a little though. The larger political history is fairly cursory, so if that's what you were interested in, like I was, then this isn't a good pick. I must say though, the book edition itself is absolutely gorgeous. I love the gold trimming, and the book has awesome double paged prints and pictures between the chapter which I spent a long time staring at. ( )
  chuckthebuck | May 1, 2022 |
I like Jon Meacham, particularly his appearances on MSNBC. JM is one of their greatest asstes.

As far as "Thomas Jefferson The Art of Power" (TJAP), I expected better. Interestingly, there is a blurb on the cover: "Probably the best single-volume biography of Jefferson ever written." Probably? Who needs "probably"? Man, I want The Best ! Probably! Single volume? Wow, how many gibes can you get in a 10 word endorsement? What publisher in his right mind etc etc. But "single-volume" is exactly my biggest problem with 760 page....(514 pages of text, BTW). By the time, Meacham got to TJ's second term, it felt to me as though he had run out of gas. It felt to me that nothing happened in those four years....Probably - there's that word again - would have been better as a two volume, Presidential years and all else.

And I have one more grievance. I felt TJ was quoted verbatim a good bit too much. They talked kind of funny in those days and I didn't enjoy re-reading some of those passages to translate to present day Virginia English. Some word-for-word was fine, but probably would have been better if.....In truth a 3 1/2 star. ( )
  maneekuhi | Apr 18, 2022 |
Thoroughly enjoyed this book by Meacham even after reading much about Jefferson in the past. ( )
  hvector | Jul 10, 2021 |
Good historical information but the author has an annoying habit of taking a sentence from something Jefferson wrote (or someone said he said) and psychoanalyzing him based on that one sentence. It got to be really really annoying. ( )
  TanyaRead | May 3, 2021 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 69 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Meacham has chosen storytelling over analysis, offering up a genial but meandering narrative. There is some meat in the book, but finding it requires dexterity and doggedness—checking the endnotes after every ten pages or so to see what is missing from the passing panorama. Meacham has read the scholarly literature on Jefferson—some of it critical—but doesn’t let enough of this debate intrude on the storytelling, which nearly always puts Jefferson in the best possible light.
afegit per eereed | editaThe New Republic, Henry Wiencek (Dec 4, 2012)
 
Mr. Meacham intends “The Art of Power” as a portrait that “neither lionizes nor indicts Jefferson, but instead restores him to his full and rich role as an American statesman who resists easy categorization.” That sounds bolder than it proves to be. It’s a polite way of staking out middle ground.
 
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A few broad strokes of the brush would paint the portraits of all the early Presidents with this exception. . . . Jefferson could be painted only touch by touch, with a fine pencil, and the perfection of the likeness depended upon the shifting and uncertain flicker of its semi-transparemt shadows. - Henry Adams, History of the United States of America During the Administration of Thomas Jefferson
I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone. - President John F. Kennedy, at a dinner in honor of all living receipients of the Nobel Prize, 1962
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To Herbert Wentz And, as ever, for Mary, Maggie, Sam, and Keith
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(Prologue) He woke at first light.
He was the kind of man people noticed.
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Knowing human nature - and knowing the Congress, which was human nature writ large - [Jefferson] understood that the Congress would not be able to keep themselves from abusing their power by deciding that everything concerned the national interest.
Jefferson is the greatest Rubber off of Dust that he has ever met with, that he has learned French, Italian, Spanish, and wants to learn German. - John Adams reporting a fellow delegate's opinion
Some talked, some wrote, and some fought to promote and establish it, but you and Mr. Jefferson thought for us all. - Benjamin Rush to John Adams, Feb 1812
Time wastes too fast: every letter / I trace tells me with what rapidity / Life follows my pen. The days and hours / Of its are flying over our heads like / Clouds of windy day never to return / More every thing presses on / And every / Time I kiss thy hand to bid adieu, every absence which / Follows it, are preludes to that eternal separation / Which we are shortly to make!
Fill paper as you please with triangles and squares: try how many ways you can hang and combine them together...We are not immortal ourselves, my friend; how can we expect our enjoyments to be so? We have no rose without its thorn; no pleasure without alloy. It is the law of our existence; and we must acquiesce.
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(Clica-hi per mostrar-ho. Compte: pot anticipar-te quin és el desenllaç de l'obra.)
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"Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power" gives readers 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, catapulting him into becoming the most successful political leader of the early republic, and perhaps in all of American history.

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