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NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The New York Times Book Review • The Washington Post • Entertainment Weekly • The Seattle Times • St. Louis Post-Dispatch

In this magnificent biography, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of American Lion and Franklin and Winston brings vividly to life an extraordinary man and his remarkable times. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power gives us 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. Such is the art of power.
 
Thomas Jefferson hated confrontation, and yet his understanding of power and of human nature enabled him to move men and to marshal ideas, to learn from his mistakes, and to prevail. Passionate about many things—women, his family, books, science, architecture, gardens, friends, Monticello, and Paris—Jefferson loved America most, and he strove over and over again, despite fierce opposition, to realize his vision: the creation, survival, and success of popular government in America. Jon Meacham lets us see Jefferson’s world as Jefferson himself saw it, and to appreciate how Jefferson found the means to endure and win in the face of rife partisan division, economic uncertainty, and external threat. Drawing on archives in the United States, England, and France, as well as unpublished Jefferson presidential papers, Meacham presents Jefferson as the most successful political leader of the early republic, and perhaps in all of American history.
 
The father of the ideal of individual liberty, of the Louisiana Purchase, of the Lewis and Clark expedition, and of the settling of the West, Jefferson recognized that the genius of humanity—and the genius of the new nation—lay in the possibility of progress, of discovering the undiscovered and seeking the unknown. From the writing of the Declaration of Independence to elegant dinners in Paris and in the President’s House; from political maneuverings in the boardinghouses and legislative halls of Philadelphia and New York to the infant capital on the Potomac; from his complicated life at Monticello, his breathtaking house and plantation in Virginia, to the creation of the University of Virginia, Jefferson was central to the age. Here too is the personal Jefferson, a man of appetite, sensuality, and passion.
 
The Jefferson story resonates today not least because he led his nation through ferocious partisanship and cultural warfare amid economic change and external threats, and also because he embodies an eternal drama, the struggle of the leadership of a nation to achieve greatness in a difficult and confounding world.

Praise for Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power
 
“This is probably the best single-volume biography of Jefferson ever written.”—Gordon S. Wood
 
“A big, grand, absorbing exploration of not just Jefferson and his role in history but also Jefferson the man, humanized as never before.”Entertainment Weekly

“[Meacham] captures who Jefferson was, not just as a statesman but as a man. . . . By the end of the book . . . the reader is likely to feel as if he is losing a dear friend. . . . [An] absorbing tale.”—The Christian Science Monitor

“This terrific book allows us to see the political genius of Thomas Jefferson better than we have ever seen it before. In these endlessly fascinating pages, Jefferson emerges with such vitality that it seems as if he might still be alive today.”—Doris Kearns Goodwin

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CUSTOMER REVIEWS

Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power
Average rating
4.5 / 5
The perfect politician
May 13th, 2014
Jefferson is elevated in reputation, one of the Founding Fathers. Disturbing to uncover conceit amid the passion. Vivid account of Jefferson's works, and portrait of his delicate relationship with history. Consuder him more a politician than a philosopher. Daring and marvelous, just the same.
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1 review
Art of Power
October 8th, 2013
I would love to write a review, but I cannot. I am half way through the book, but each time I try to open the book to finish reading it, all I get is a blank screen with a rotating circle. HELP!!!! jlaesq@optonline.net
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1 review
Great
July 8th, 2013
Thought-provoking portrait of an extraordinary man. Well worth the read.
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1 review
Great book
April 25th, 2013
Well written. Objective on Jefferson's beliefs on slavery and his inconsistencies. Sad that upon his death only the Hemming slaves were freed. Missed the JFK quote about dinner of Nobel Prize winners. I wasn't too happy with the mention of Reagan. To even mention Reagan in the same breath as Jefferson is a joke. I was happy about the review of the politics of the time.
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1 review

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