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Download In Pursuit of Reason: The Life of Thomas Jefferson epub

by Noble E. Cunningham Jr.

"A major contribution." Washington PostThe authoritative single-volume biography of Thomas Jefferson, perhaps the most significant figure in American history. He was a complex and compelling man: a fervent advocate of democracy who enjoyed the life of a southern aristocrat and owned slaves, a revolutionary who became president, a believer in states' rights who did much to further the power of the federal government. Drawing on the recent explosion of Jeffersonian scholarship and fresh readings of original sources, IN PURSUIT OF REASON is a monument to Jefferson that will endure for generations.
Download In Pursuit of Reason: The Life of Thomas Jefferson epub
ISBN: 0345353803
ISBN13: 978-0345353801
Category: Biographies
Subcategory: Leaders & Notable People
Author: Noble E. Cunningham Jr.
Language: English
Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reissue edition (May 12, 1988)
Pages: 432 pages
ePUB size: 1762 kb
FB2 size: 1603 kb
Rating: 4.5
Votes: 878
Other Formats: rtf azw mobi mbr

Great reading on our third President. The author focuses on Jefferson's political career more than his personal life, although there is quite a bit about Jefferson as a man. Jefferson was also very private and he burned a lot of his personal correspondence. The book is written before the DNA results of Jefferson's relationship with his servant, and the author briefly comments on this and absolutely refutes it. It's well worth reading.
My oldest is a junior in high school but by the time he graduates he will all ready have earned an associate's degree. This is one of his text books, and he learned a lot in that class and now he likes to drop little sayings and ask who originally said it. I am proud of him.
It was the book I wanted
Great book - Thanks!
boring book but a requirement for ap us history.
This book was advertised as "Like New." When we received it, the book was full of underlined text (in pen!) and check marks.
This is a straightforward Jefferson biography, focused on the idea that his actions were explainable in terms the ideas of the 18th century Age of Reason and its application to the problems that he faced. That is to say, he did not approach problems in terms of any religious doctrine, but rather in terms of science and intellectual reason. The book covers Jefferson's life from birth to death, with each chapter devoted to a specific period, such as when he was the American representative in France, vice-president and finally president. There is a very brief chapter devoted to the various romantic entanglements that he may or may not have had, but this is only a very peripheral part of the book.

As to be expected, the narrative favors Jefferson's position on the various controversies that he faced, most centrally his conflicts with Alexander Hamilton. However, Professor Cunningham does not go overboard and this certainly not a Jeffersonian hagiography (i.e., Jefferson portrayed as a saint). Personally, I tend to favor Hamilton's position on most matters, but this book, while not converting me, made me consider Jefferson's position in a more favorable light. I think that I now have a better understanding of what Jefferson did and perhaps an idea of why, but Jefferson still remains somewhat of a mystery to me. While rational to the extreme, the book shows that Jefferson had a blind spot regarding slavery and his actions often ran counter to his ideas of freedom and a strict interpretation of the US constitution.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants a straightforward, relatively short Jefferson biography. Having only 350 pages of text, this is not an in-depth or exhaustive study, but I believe that it hits all of the aspects of Jefferson's life. I am giving it four stars, rather than 5 because while I liked the book, I found it somewhat dry, and I definitely do not feel that it comes up to the level of the 5-star biographies of Hamilton and Washington by Ron Chernow or the biography of John Adams by David McCullough, but few books do.