Jefferson: Architect of American Liberty
With Hamilton taking Broadway and the country by storm, it is little wonder that more attention is starting to be given to Hamilton’s chief rival, Thomas Jefferson. This new, and long, biography of Thomas Jefferson is trying to help rehabilitate the image of the man who wrote the Declaration of Independence and bought the Louisiana Territory. Much has been written about Thomas Jefferson, especially in relation to his work during the Revolution and his time as President. Sadly, this biography does not cover much new ground that a first-year history student would not already know. The parts that cover the beginning and ending of his life are short. I can understand the beginning being short, since sources might not survive. But it seems the end was glossed over by the author, and it almost feels like an afterthought. You can tell from the writing, and the emphasis by the author John Boles on the middle part, that he wants to view Jefferson through the political lens. While he attempts to explain Jefferson’s view on race, I am not sure this will be the book that will help his image. In a way, we have been overloaded with Thomas Jefferson.
John B. Boles