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Extended Audio Sample Jefferson’s Secrets: Death and Desire at Monticello, by Andrew Burstein Click for printable size audiobook cover
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (67 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Andrew Burstein Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In this moving and intimate look at the final days of our most enigmatic president, Andrew Burstein sheds new light on what Thomas Jefferson actually thought about sexuality, race, gender, and politics.

Thomas Jefferson died on July 4, 1826, leaving behind a series of mysteries that captured the imaginations of historical investigators—an interest rekindled by the recent revelation that he fathered a child by Sally Hemmings, a woman he legally owned—yet there is still surprisingly little known about him as a man. In Jefferson’s Secrets Andrew Burstein focuses on Jefferson’s last days to create an emotionally powerful portrait of the uncensored private citizen who was also a giant of a man.

Drawing on sources previous biographers have glossed over or missed entirely, Burstein uncovers, first and foremost, how Jefferson confronted his own mortality; and in doing so, he reveals how he viewed his sexual choices.

Delving into Jefferson’s soul, Burstein lays bare the president’s thoughts about his own legacy, his predictions for American democracy, and his feelings regarding women and religion. The result is a moving and surprising work of history that sets a new standard, post-DNA, for the next generation’s reassessment of the most evocative and provocative of this country’s founders.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Burstein…sheds new light on our most enigmatic and interesting founding father from a unique perspective…This is a deeply moving portrait of the aged Jefferson’s body, mind, and spirit that takes the measure, as Burstein says, of the full range of the founder’s imagination.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Erin (NY) | 9/17/2013

    " This book was such a chore to get through! It was boring awfully written and the interesting information passed me by because it was so scarce! It you want to learn more about Jefferson, do NOT read this book! (The first chapter was all about his bodily functions! I mean come of ewwww!) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Debbie | 7/24/2012

    " Jefferson's post-retirement writings and what they show of the inner man "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Patricia dumas | 3/13/2012

    " Oy vay, I will never finish this book. It is pompous and boring. The history of desire? Desire and Science?? I want Jefferson in the flesh and blood. So far, this is horrible. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Adam | 2/10/2011

    " The author seemed more interested in spouting off his knowledge about philosophy and poetry, than discussing tj. "

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About the Author

Andrew Burstein is the Charles P. Manship professor of history at Louisiana State University and the author, most recently of Democracy’s Muse. He has written numerous history books and biographies including Lincoln Dreamt He Died and Jefferson’s Secrets. Best known as a Jefferson scholar, Professor Burstein has taught courses at LSU for many years as well as others universities. He received an MA from the Center for Chinese Studies at the University of Michigan and a PhD in history from the University of Virginia.