Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power was written by Jon Meacham, also the author of American Lion, and Franklin and Winston.
Thomas Jefferson, a man of contradictions, was both thirsty for power and hungry for progress. A philosopher and a politician, we see in this vivid portrait, the political genius which allowed him the deft ability to compromise and improvise. Though many Americans think of him as the embodiment of noble ideals, Meacham reveals that we was a pragmatist in politics more than a moral philosopher. Just how he steered his drive for power is the lens through which Meacham looks at Jefferson.
His sensuality and his passion buttress his ideals of individual liberty and civil autonomy. Exploring Jefferson's founding role in the Louisiana Purchase, the Lewis and Clark expedition, and of the settling of the west, we see the American ideal of the frontier and rugged individualism brought to life. Through his political maneuvering in Paris, to Philadelphia and New York, Jefferson led the nation through divisive partisanship and culture wars all during a time of economic upheaval and threats from beyond. He is perhaps the embodiment of our nations struggle to lead and achieve greatness in a turbulent and confounding world.
Jon Meacham, a Pulitzer Prize winning author, and a member on the Council on Foreign Relations, he is also the executive editor and vice president at Random House publications. He was contributing editor to Time, editor-at-large of WNET, and editor-in-chief of Newsweek. Social issues in politics, history and religion are popular in his commentary. He has served on the board of trustees for multiple universities, has written for the New York Times, NYT Book Review, the Washington Post, and LA Times Book Review. He and his wife and three children live in New York City and Sewanee, Tennessee (home of the University of the South).
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 the genius of humanity, and 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. Download and start listening now!