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 Drawing on archives in the United States, England, and France, as well as unpublished Jefferson presidential papers, Meacham presents Jefferson as the most successful political leader of the early republic, and perhaps in all of American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

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  •  
    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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    "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
  •  
    John M. Burton Simpsonville, SC 08-12-15
    John M. Burton Simpsonville, SC 08-12-15 Member Since 2014

    John B

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    "Great book about a great man"

    Loved this book. It is a great story about a true American, who like all of us, had flaws. His passions held true until the end. Well researched and well told story. Edward Herrmann was a great choice for the read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan 08-06-15
    Jonathan 08-06-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Engaging from start to finish."

    An excellent look into the details of Jefferson's life without overbearing complexity. Recommended to anyone seeking a more in depth understanding of one of America's Founding Fathers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zack Alcyone Santa Monica, CA USA 07-30-15
    Zack Alcyone Santa Monica, CA USA 07-30-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Inspirational biography of a great president"

    Wonderful, inspiring, uplifting biography of a great leader. Having read McCollough's biography of john Adams, I especially enjoyed the parts about their relationship. There was nothing I did not like about this book, and I found myself overwhelmed with sadness at the end when he dies, sad at the loss of this great man, at the lack of such a leader today, and at the sorrow of parting with Meacham's book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dillon 07-23-15
    Dillon 07-23-15
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    "eye opening"

    I used to think of the founding fathers as stuffy, rich, englishmen parading around speaking like Shakespeare. turns out they were modern men, bent on personal development, and an ideal society. i have a new hero, jefferson; and a new nemesis; hamilton.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Demoyung Boston, MA USA 07-21-15
    Demoyung Boston, MA USA 07-21-15 Member Since 2014

    provocatuer

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    "Know him both as a colleague and a politician"

    Jefferson is easy to love, idolize, or hate, minimize. This work reveals the subtle hues that make characterizations so misleading. You will know strengths, weaknesses, great achievement and significant failure. Very well read and enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cristy T. 07-07-15
    Cristy T. 07-07-15
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    "Strong Overall, but a Bit rushed at the end"

    This book rightfully focused on the Revolutionary, Cabinet, and Presidential portions of Jefferson's life, but seemed to touch lightly on his post-Presidential accomplishments. Jefferson believed that the creation of The University of Virginia was one of his three most important accomplishments, and I would have expected a more detailed account of his struggles with the Virginia Legislature and his curriculum development to have been discussed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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