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Download Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Henry Wiencek
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (173 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Henry Wiencek Narrator: Brian Holsopple Publisher: HighBridge Company Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2012 ISBN:
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Is there anything new to say about Thomas Jefferson and slavery? The answer is a resounding yes. Henry Wiencek's eloquent, persuasive book - based on new information coming from archaeological work at Monticello and on hitherto overlooked or disregarded evidence in Jefferson's papers - opens up a huge, poorly understood dimension of Jefferson's world. We must, Wiencek suggests, follow the money.

So far historians have offered only easy irony or paradox to explain this extraordinary Founding Father who was an emancipationist in his youth and then recoiled from his own inspiring rhetoric and equivocated about slavery, who enjoyed his renown as a revolutionary leader yet kept some of his own children as slaves. But Wiencek's Jefferson is a man of business and public affairs who makes a success of his debt-ridden plantation thanks to what he calls the silent profits gained from his slaves - and thanks to a skewed moral universe that he and thousands of others readily inhabited.

Many people of Jefferson's time saw a catastrophe coming and tried to stop it, but not Jefferson. The pursuit of happiness had been badly distorted, and an oligarchy was getting very rich. Is this the quintessential American story?

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Misty | 2/17/2014

    " This book was really interesting and also a little boring at times. I learned a lot but think this book is more for people who have a serious interest in American presidents. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kat Myers | 1/24/2014

    " Wiencek uncovers a version of Thomas Jefferson that is definitely NOT the one you were taught in school. Gone is the profound opponent of slavery who has stood on a moral high ground for hundreds of years. He is replaced by a real person, and not necessarily someone you like or even respect. This book will certainly be a blow for lovers of the myth of the benevolent American "Founding Father" legend, and it is for this reason especially that it deserves to be read by as wide an audience as possible. If you like your history with a good dose of harsh reality, then this is the book for you. Wiencek gives it to us "straight" and the tale that he tells is all the more fascinating and enjoyable because of it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terry | 1/16/2014

    " This eye-opening book focuses on Jefferson's varying perspectives on slavery, revealing the inconsistencies between Jefferson the philosopher, who proposed including the abolition of slavery into the Declaration of Independence, and Jefferson the practical plantation owner, who relied upon slavery. He indeed wrote positively about the economic benefits of slavery, which supported the agricultural and manufacturing system that made his luxurious lifestyle possible. The interactions between key slaves (including the Hemings) and Jefferson, and the regular encouragement he received from Lafayette and others to free his slaves, form an on-going thread in the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 GregP | 1/7/2014

    " Nice, informative account of Jefferson, Monticello, and the slaves who made Jefferson and Monticello historically significant. Jefferson "walked both sides of the fence" concerning slavery. His economic prosperity was grounded in slavery. Ironically, his bankruptcy followed suit. Wiencek eludes that Jefferson loved Sally Hemmings as his father loved Sally's mother. This book sheds a lot of light on society's amalgamation or first interracial families. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristin | 12/4/2013

    " Intriguing and thought-provoking info. This is the most personal account I've read of the man's life, and taken as part of comparative readings on T.J., was valuable to understanding him. Well written. I enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David Horney | 11/23/2013

    " Wiencek's contention is that Jefferson has been more or less given a pass by history with regard to his active participation in the slave trade. Jefferson as a young man was actively abolitionist in tone but as he grew and aged, he became dependent on slave labor to maintain his lifestyle. Wiencek seems to delight in calling out other historian's who have interpreted events in a different light. He also proposes that the public confirmation that DNA linked the descendents of Jefferson's slave Sally Hemings to Jefferson's bloodline was stage managed to put Bill Clinton's Lewinsky troubles in a more positive light...kinda farfetched if you ask me. Over all this is a well researched and thought out book. I found it gripping and would recommend it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Evan Thomas | 11/18/2013

    " Truly an excellent an devastating dissection of Jefferson's hypocrisy on the question of slavery. It also offers an excellent perspective on plantation life in 18th century that goes equally far towards refuting the myth that slavery was a dying institution until the invention of the cotton gin. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Antony | 11/8/2013

    " The man who wrote the words "All Men Are Created Equal" doesn't come off too well in this close study of his role as "master" to 600 souls in the course of his lifetime. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anne Volk | 11/7/2013

    " very interesting... and Eston Hemings Jefferson is buried at Forest Hill, right by our Glenway house "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 10/22/2013

    " It is hard to respect Jefferson after reading this book. An excellent and disturbing book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristine | 9/30/2013

    " An interesting look at an American hero and how his practices did not always follow what he preached. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom | 9/10/2013

    " An interesting and provocative look at Jefferson "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Windt | 10/13/2012

    " Good book that finally tells the true story of Jefferson, Monticello and his 600 slaves. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shadowblk | 10/12/2012

    " well-researched account of a founder that shows a side of Jefferson oft apologized or discounted in a very balanced fashion "

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About the Author
Author Henry Wiencek

Henry Wiencek, a nationally prominent historian and writer, is the author of several books, including The Hairstons: An American Family in Black and White, which won the National Book Critics’ Circle Award in 1999. He lives with his wife and son in Charlottesville, Virginia.

About the Narrator

Brian Holsopple has been in the voice-over and audio business for more than twenty years. His commercial client list includes Discover Channel, Virginia Lottery, and City Bank of Texas, among others. A winner of the 2007 Publisher’s Weekly Audiobook Award, he has narrated books for Arthur C. Clarke, Henry Wiencek, and Jay Rubenstein.