The American Presidents Series
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Pub. Ed. $22.00
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Thomas Jefferson viewed his presidency as a “second American revolution.” Historian Joyce Appleby puts that claim to the test in this well-written and vigorously argued American Presidents biography.
Committed to limited government
Like all the biographies in this series, this one distinguishes itself by its unique take on its subject. Appleby early on stakes out the two areas of "transformative change” that comprised the revolutionary spirit of Jefferson’s presidency: his radical commitment to limited government and his campaign to eradicate “elite practices” held over from America’s colonial past. To these ends, the nation’s third chief executive dedicated his administration to scaling back the centralized authority of his Federalist predecessors, while eliminating outmoded traditions like formal attire at state dinners and hierarchical seating arrangements.
Not every aspect of Jefferson’s presidency was so successful. Appleby shows how his views on slavery, race, and gender belie his democratic ideals. That Jefferson was a man of fierce contradictions no one can deny. But the territory laid out by this quintessentially American reformer continues to define our politics today. This illuminating portrait is as clear-eyed an assessment of the Sage of Monticello’s vision and achievement as has yet been captured in one volume. 208 pages • 5" x 8" • Milestones • Note on Sources • selected bibliography • Index
About the Author: Joyce Appleby is a professor of history at UCLA. Specializing in the study of early America, she is the author of Inheriting the Revolution: The First Generation of Americans and Liberalism and Republicanism in the Historical Imagination. She lives in Los Angeles, California.
Hardcover Book : 208 pages
Publisher: Times Books ( February 01, 2003 )
Item #: 11-584358
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.5inches
Product Weight: 10.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Written at the junior high school level. Skimpy, scanty, biased, undocumented. A waste of time.
Reviewer: Bill M
Joyce Appleby has written a fantasy of Jefferson and American History. Very little in this book is factual. Appleby wrote what she wanted the world to think of Jefferson, not what he was. This book is a waste of money; Appleby has no business writing, let alone teaching, history.
I gave this book one star because no star is not an option.
Reviewer: Raymond S
I was really disappointed with this book. It was mostly about Jefferson's two terms as president. However, like the first four of our commander-in-chiefs the stories before and after their terms in office are the most compelling. I had been hoping to read in detail about Jefferson during the revolution, in Paris, and more about his turbulent relationship with John Adams. If you're interested only about the presidency, then this is a fine book. But it lacks the depth of the man.
Reviewer: Timothy T
There are several books about Jefferson which will give you a little more insight into his life,policies, thoughts,prejudices and personality. This is not the one. If you just want an overall general biography, then this is for youl. If you are looking to really read about him, then Joseph Ellis's American Sphinx is for you. It tells more about his character& philosophy. I feel this book really glossed over the true Jefferson & lightly touched on the life of a man that was truly controversial in life & in death. I learned more about him in "The Paris Years" by Wm.Howard Adams.I expected a little more from The President Series. It's easy to read but lacked depth.
Reviewer: John S