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Thomas Jefferson's lives : biographers and the battle for history /
edited by Robert M.S. McDonald.
Charlottesville : University of Virginia Press, 2019.
xxvii, 311 pages ; 24 cm.
0813942918, 9780813942919, 9780813942926
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series title
Charlottesville : University of Virginia Press, 2019.
contents note
Foreword / by Jon Meacham -- Introduction: The many lives of Thomas Jefferson / Barbara Oberg -- "Merely personal or private, with which we have nothing to do" : Thomas Jefferson's autobiographical writings / J. Jefferson Looney -- "More loved ... and more hated" : George Tucker on Thomas Jefferson / Christine Coalwell McDonald and Robert M. S. McDonald -- "Dexterity and delicacy of manipulation" : biographers Henry S. Randall and James Parton / Andrew Burstein -- "A beautiful domestic character" : Sarah N. Randolph's The domestic life of Thomas Jefferson / Jan Ellen Lewis -- Painting with a fine pencil : Henry Adams's Jefferson / Richard Samuelson -- "I come to bury Caesar" : Burr biographers on Jefferson / Nancy Isenberg -- Punching the ticket : Hamilton biographers and the sins of Thomas Jefferson / Joanne B. Freeman -- Consulting the timeless oracle : the Thomas Jeffersons of Claude Bowers and Albert Jay Nock / Brian Steele -- The cosmopolitan and the curator : Gilbert Chinard, Marie Goebel Kimball, and Jefferson biography in the mid-twentieth century / Herbert Sloan -- The perils of definitiveness : Dumas Malone's Jefferson and his time / R.B. Bernstein -- Merrill D. Peterson and the apostle of freedom : Thomas Jefferson and the new nation / Francis D. Cogliano -- "That woman" : Fawn Brodie and Thomas Jefferson's intimate history / Annette Gordon-Reed -- Afterword: A tribute to Peter Onuf / Gordon S. Wood.
"Who was the 'real' Thomas Jefferson? If this question has an answer, it will probably not be revealed to anyone attempting to read the many accounts of his life. For two centuries biographers have provided divergent perspectives on him as a man and conflicting appraisals of his accomplishments. Controversial in his own time, Jefferson's propensity to polarize continued in the years after his death as biographers battled to control the commanding heights of history. To judge from their depictions, there existed many different Thomas Jeffersons. This book explores how individual biographers have shaped history -- as well as how the interests and preoccupations of the times in which they wrote helped to shape their portrayals of Jefferson. In different eras biographers presented the third president as a proponent of individual rights and majority rule, as a unifier and a fierce partisan, as well as a champion of American nationalism and global citizenship. Conscripted to serve Whigs and Democrats, abolitionists and slaveholders, unionists and secessionists, Populists and Progressives, and seemingly every side of just about every subsequent struggle, the only constant was that Jefferson's image remained a mirror of Americans' self-conscious understanding of their nation's virtues and vices. Thomas Jefferson's Lives brings together leading scholars of Jefferson and his era, all of whom embrace the challenge to assess some of the most important and enduring accounts of Jefferson's life"--
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.

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