Most Blessed of the Patriarchs: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination


Product Details

$17.95  $16.69
Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
5.4 X 8.2 X 1.0 inches | 0.7 pounds

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About the Author

Annette Gordon-Reed is the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard University. The author of Pulitzer Prize-winning The Hemingses of Monticello, she lives in New York and Cambridge.
Peter S. Onuf is professor emeritus of history at the University of Virginia. He is the author of The Mind of Thomas Jefferson.


In their search for understanding rather than for comfortable bromides, Gordon-Reed and Onuf exemplify a virtue that Jefferson admired, even though, in this case, it does not always tend to his advantage.--Matthew C. Simpson
Ambitious...Gordon-Reed and Onuf rightly highlight Jefferson's ideas, words and charm, the strengths that brought him such success in his life and that have sustained his standing for centuries.--David O. Stewart
A fresh and layered analysis, one centered more on [Jefferson's] interior life than his deeds for posterity...Gordon-Reed and Onuf are not the first to search for other ways into Jefferson's private place, nor will they be the last. But they have provided a smart and useful map for those who are certain to follow.--Peter Baker
Provocative...Gordon-Reed and Onuf employ their considerable historical and literary skills to collage an unconventional portrait of Jefferson...Few historians are as well suited to examine Jefferson in this manner...The Jefferson who emerges in these pages is a dynamic, complex and oftentimes contradictory human being.--Walton Muyumba
Given that Jefferson believed that no generation can have a rightful claim to govern another, it is fitting that Gordon-Reed and Onuf have given us a new and empowering perspective on the private and public life of one of our greatest Americans. It is a book with which the next generation can judge, and be enlightened by, Jefferson's words and deeds.--Jeremy D. Bailey
With characteristic insight and intellectual rigor, Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter Onuf have produced a powerful and lasting portrait of the mind of Thomas Jefferson. This is an essential and brilliant book by two of the nation's foremost scholars--a book that will, like its protagonist, endure.--Jon Meacham, author of Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power
A peerless team, Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter Onuf pierce the mysteries of Jefferson's character and at last offer a compelling explanation of how the republican statesman and plantation patriarch could coexist in a single soul. Jefferson's flaw was not hypocrisy but conviction, his unswerving belief in paternalism as empowering and beneficent.--Danielle Allen, author of Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality
This inspired collaboration takes us as close as we're likely to get to the way Thomas Jefferson understood himself and his times. Not content with clichés about a man who made his world anew, Gordon-Reed and Onuf show us the world that made the man.... Here is Jefferson as he might have painted his own image, a self-portrait comprised of equal parts sun and shadow.--Jane Kamensky, author of Copley: A Life in Color
How did Jefferson's sense of himself and his life missions affect how he handled his many roles, including revolutionary, president, and plantation owner? In this groundbreaking book, Gordon-Reed and Onuf look at Jefferson as a total person and how he set about to fulfill the goals he developed early and held throughout his career. Jefferson is endlessly fascinating, and this book shows why.--Jack Rakove, author of Revolutionaries: A New History of the Invention of America