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Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power Audiobook
Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power
Written by: 
Jon Meacham
Narrated by: 
Edward Herrmann, Jon Meacham
Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power Audiobook

Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

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Publisher's Summary

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 Drawing on archives in the United States, England, and France, as well as unpublished Jefferson presidential papers, Meacham presents Jefferson as the most successful political leader of the early republic, and perhaps in all of American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 that the genius of humanity - and the genius 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.

©2012 Jon Meacham (P)2012 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"Jon Meacham resolves the bundle of contradictions that was Thomas Jefferson by probing his love of progress and thirst for power. This is a thrilling and affecting portrait of our first philosopher-politician." (Stacy Schiff)

"This terrific book allows us to see the political genius of Thomas Jefferson better than we have ever seen it before. In these endlessly fascinating pages, Jefferson emerges with such vitality that it seems as if he might still be alive today." (Doris Kearns Goodwin)

"Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power is a true triumph, a brilliant biography. Jon Meacham shows how Jefferson's deft ability to compromise and improvise made him a transformational leader. We think of Jefferson as the embodiment of noble ideals, as he was, but Meacham shows that he was a practical politician more than a moral theorist. The result is a fascinating look at how Jefferson wielded his driving desire for power and control." (Walter Isaacson)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (2087 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Rev Casey Illinois 01-10-16
    Rev Casey Illinois 01-10-16

    Rev Casey

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    5
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    "Great performance, good author, paradoxical man"

    Great performance, good author, paradoxical man. Really enjoyed the reader. Author is not quite as strong as McCullough or Chernow

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James 01-02-16
    James 01-02-16 Member Since 2016

    Addicted to reading traditional books. Overwhelmed by backlog of books to read. If it's early Americana then I want it.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brilliant"
    Any additional comments?

    Books, such as this, should be required curriculum in schools. I very much enjoyed this audio book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 12-08-15 Member Since 2015
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    3
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    "The wonder of Jefferson"

    This was a wonderful book and a delight to listen. Meacham has written a glorious picture into the life of one of America's greatest icons and given restoration to his just work and deeds.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim G 11-26-15
    Jim G 11-26-15
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    13
    1
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    "Learned more about Jefferson in Adams bio"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Yes. I was disappointed in the entire book. Having been reading a string of Presidential bios for the past 3-4 months, including Reagan, Bush (41), Lincoln, Jackson, Washington and Adams, this was the most disappointing. I learned more about Jefferson in David Mccullough's bio of John Adams. Of all of the bios of read (except perhaps W's bio of his father) it was the most one-sided and biased view of the subject. In the afterward, Meacham finally explains himself a bit, but it was too little too late.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Jon Meacham? Why or why not?

    Yes, because I've heard him on the radio and think he's intelligent and insightful. But if my only experience with him was this book, my answer would likely be no.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    While generally a very steady and pleasant voice, I was left lukewarm on the performer. There were a few often-used words where the performer used unusual forms of the pronunciation (e.g. partisan) and I found some of his inflections to change the tone in a manner that the author probably did not intend.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 10-31-15 Member Since 2014
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    8
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    "A depth and scope seldom equaled."

    Taken as a whole this work acts as a prism, separating the many facets of Jefferson's life,
    mind and personality. Allowing the independent study of each while never becoming dissociated from the complex matrix of the great man himself.
    An superlative performance well befitting the superlative text.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Ventura, CA, United States 10-30-15
    Steve Ventura, CA, United States 10-30-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    50
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    56
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    2
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    "Weak"
    Any additional comments?

    Although this book was well narrated, the story was very surface and week. There are many, many footnotes. This indicates that the author is writing more for academics than for the general public. I prefer history that is not so paranoid about being factually accurate, but rather brings to life the characters being discussed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzanne Meece 10-28-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Awesome"

    Wonderful book. Well written and researched. I have more admiration for Jefferson and his contributions to our nation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martin Gilmore 09-21-15 Member Since 2015
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    10
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    "A great biography!"

    This is a wonderful biography of the third American president.

    It is wonderfully written and expertly narrated.

    For anyone interested in America, politics, history or humanity this is a must listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Crisitna Tunon 09-17-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Amazing book!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version so I cannot make that assessment.


    What did you like best about this story?

    How much I learned about Thomas Jefferson. I always knew he was very impressive and accomplished, but I learned so many things about him, the Founding Fathers, and early America that I had never known.


    What does Edward Herrmann and Jon Meacham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Edward Hermann did an amazing job narrating the book! It would not have been the same without him. Jon Meacham did such a stellar job researching and writing this book. It is told almost completely from Jefferson's point of view because it is told through letters he wrote. You also get a good idea of what others thought about him, good and bad, because of their correspondence. Fantastic book!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Tommy J is here to save America.


    Any additional comments?

    Wonderful book, so well written and researched. I am very happy I made this purchase. Will look for more books from this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J United States 09-05-15
    J United States 09-05-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Outstanding. I learned alot. He was much more than"

    Outstanding. I learned Jefferson was much more then the author than the Declaration of Independence.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Adriano
    Milan
    12/23/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too many details!"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    This book is fantastic from a bibliographical prospective. Extremely detailed. A person really passionate about Jefferson would like it!
    The usual reader is lost in too many letters and details about day to day life, and lose the great ideals that drive Jefferson's life.


    Has Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power put you off other books in this genre?

    Probably


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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