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Thomas Jefferson: A Life from Beginning to End

One Hour History: US Presidents, Book 4
Narrated by: Derek Jeck
Length: 1 hr and 9 mins
4 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

At a White House dinner in 1962 honoring the Nobel Prize winners of the Western Hemisphere, President John Kennedy greeted them by saying: "I want to tell you how welcome you are to the White House. I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."

The laureates might have been a trifle nonplussed to hear themselves collectively compared to one man, but Thomas Jefferson left his imprint on his state of Virginia; his young country, the United States; France, where he served as ambassador; and the world, where his opposition to tyranny and his advocacy of freedom have inspired generations to believe that the pursuit of happiness, as he wrote in his Declaration of Independence, is an unalienable right.

You will hear about....

  • His life, his loves, his legacy
  • The son of Virginia
  • Jefferson the patriot
  • Jefferson in Paris
  • Jefferson the politician
  • Jefferson the President
  • Jefferson at home

Jefferson himself opted for less opulent praise; the epitaph that he composed for his tombstone accommodated space for the dates of his birth and death, and listed the following accomplishments: author of the Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, and father of the University of Virginia. Between Kennedy's description of the third president of the United States and Jefferson's own rendition of his accomplishments resides the enigma of an American philosopher who ardently believed in freedom yet owned slaves; a patriot who served his country with his talents and energies, but who was embroiled in the political machinations which rose to the surface as soon as the first president was in office; a human being who doubted the intellectual equality of African-Americans yet was engaged in a 38-year affair with a much younger female slave, with whom he fathered six children; a brilliant innovator who lived his life in debt; a man accustomed to the finer things that life could offer who espoused the simple, agrarian model for the new country he helped to found.

©2016 Hourly History (P)2017 Hourly History

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a slice of history in an hour

I remember learning a great deal about Thomas Jefferson and what a great man that he was. we learned later in life that he owned slaves and he willed them to be released but others were sold, you don't often find this in historical record, but it is in this our book. I felt very good that the history was delivered truthfully and it is very good summary and reminder for all of us that may have forgotten about this great man. he did make strides in human rights and was known as a humanitarian in his day. I recommend this book and many others by the publisher that publishes hourly history and other books.

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  • John
  • 08-26-18

Weak narrator

The book was read so badly that it could have been mistaken for computer read version. Very hard to listen.