As the English novelist Samuel Butler once noted, "Though God cannot alter the past, historians can." His observation is especially applicable to our changing perceptions of great historical personalities, most of whom are relentlessly "reinterpreted" by each new generation of biographers. There is no better example of this kind of metamorphosis than Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and third President of the United States.
In this biography of Thomas Jefferson, you will meet the real man as he is allowed to present much of his story in his own words. A man who:
Lost his wife when she was only 33, and lost four children before the age of three.
Created the masterpiece of his life, the Declaration of Independence, at the young age of 33.
Served as governor of war-torn Virginia and once escaped British capture by only minutes.
Was one of the geniuses behind the American Constitution, even though he was serving in France during the Constitutional Convention.
Was a true Renaissance man, skilled in farming, scientific experimentation, practical invention, economics, political philosophy, and statesmanship.
Nearly lost his first presidential election to Aaron Burr, a scoundrel who later may have committed treason.
No man's life can be truly understood apart from his ideas, nor can his ideas be fully appreciated apart from the experiences which shaped his life. For this reason, The Real Thomas Jefferson includes two parts.
Part 1 - A Biography of Thomas Jefferson's Life
Part 2 - Selected quotations from his life, organized by topic.
These two parts are designed to complement each other and paint a more complete and accurate picture of the life of Thomas Jefferson.
The Real Thomas Jefferson is part of a series published by the National Center for Constitutional Studies entitled The American Classic Series. It is designed to revive an intelligent appreciation of the Founders and the remarkable system of government that they gave us.
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