yes - this is a well balanced synopsis of the complex life of Thomas Jefferson, which helps to not only explain the Federalist - Anti-Federalist debates, but also paints a picture of the talented man who played a key role in nurturing and protecting the otherwise fragile Democratic Republic experiment which we and the rest of the world all take for granted.
Jefferson's love of his fellow man and his talent for keeping the peace through respect and empathy, extending to all walks of life, including even his slaves. Jefferson's early [failed] attempts to win support for emancipation, his relationship with his slave Sally Hemmings, who was also his dead wife's half sister - their children, all of whom eventually won their freedom - all add an interesting element to what might on the surface otherwise seem to be simply a shameful slave owning southern plantation story.
I recall visualizing the scenes of the younger Jefferson, reciting prose and playing music with his older sister Jane, his failed attempts at love, followed by a classic life love, and more (don't want to say too much here). Jefferson's on again, off again relationships with his political rivals, and his eventual burying of the hatchett with John Adams resulting in a series of over a hundred letters in their old age.
Not quite extreme. In classic Jeffersonian style, this book avoids too much extremeism and unnecessary drama - just like Jefferson lived his life.
I want more - I would like more details on Jefferson's life and the lives of those around him.
enlightening and riveting
Jefferson...no need to explain why
there's way more to the Thomas Jefferson you learned about in 8th grade!
The objective review of Thomas Jefferson as a complex man.
Thomas Jefferson, a man who was concerned with liberties while being pragmatic.
Both were excellent and kept you involved throughout the lengthy reading.
The same as the Title.
The audio version makes the experience of Jefferson personal
The contrast of the individual person, the intellectual and the practical
The personal and reflective approach
The very end-the summing up of a lfe
What we learned about Thomas Jefferson when we were younger is cursory at best. Here, in detail, and clearly written is the story of one of our most important Americans. Whatever political party you favor you can support Jefferson because he touched on all aspects of American life in a way that made this country stronger. Meacham makes clear that Jefferson always had the country in mind in all decisions and that puts him above "politicians" of today.
Edward Hermann's narration adds a great deal to a well researched and well written book.
Someone that didn't care about discovering the truth and wanted to discredit a great man.
If the author had done a little research instead of passing on and promoting every undocumented lie concerning Jefferson.
When I turned off the book was the best moment. Unfortunately the book was well read so I kept hoping a few true facts would surface. I was continually disappointed.
I would have cut the entire book.
At least with a paper book I could have thrown it away and felt like I had given this book what it deserved . Just deleting the book from my computer seems insufficient.
Husband, father, building contractor, inventor and audio book lover.
Jon Meacham does an excellent job of fleshing out this most improbable of men. Jefferson, an amalgamation of conflicting desires and motives, that sometimes left him on the wrong side of history, was that man. This we can see now, as we have clear hindsight to guide us. Our third president, as with all makers of history, had no such guiding light. They had to deal with those inscrutable issues with only their current knowledge and life experience. It is easy for us to make judgements about behaviors, that today, seem unconscionable, but were not then even noticeable. Although, it was clear that Jefferson knew, even then, that slavery was a blot on our nation. Still, he could not muster the will do anything substantive about it.
The author takes pains to give us the context, as well as concurrent examples of the community expectations of the day in which Jefferson lived.
This is an excellent look at the founding of our country and the men that formed these United States, and to a great extent, the wider world, that we have evolved into.
As always, Ed Herrmann is a comfortable and familiar voice that makes listening to this book a pleasure.
I am unable to rank "Jefferson" as it falls into a category of its own. Suffice to say I was intrigued.
The most memorable part of the book is the use of the English and how beautifully descriptive it was in the day. We certainly do not converse that way today!
Edward Herrmann is the best at reading.
I was very impressed by this audiobook. It was very detailed and I learnt great deal about the private and public life of Thomas Jefferson.
Being an Australian citizen, we don’t grow up with stories of the past American Presidents like I am sure American children do, so it was refreshing to hear how much of a great man Thomas Jefferson was and how much he loved liberty.
He truly was a man who believed in limited Government and giving the power to the people. Sadly his vision of the American Republic has greatly been lost now when you see the control that President Obama is taking over the people's rights today and what is happening in Congress.
The story about Jefferson creating his own bible ( he created two ) was accurate but it was not explained why he decided to remove certain parts - it was simply because he wanted to capture the words of Christ wisdom to outreach to the Red Indian and not because he didn’t believe in Christs divine nature which the book proposes. A serious twisting of the truth that I think Jefferson himself would not appreciate. I have heard there is a question about the accuracy of the DNA testing and the Sally Heming’s affair – (this may require greater research.)
But overall this is an excellent book and well worth listening to and purchasing.
Alan - Australia