Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power - Jon Meacham

Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

By Jon Meacham

  • Release Date: 2012-11-13
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 3.5
From 784 Ratings


#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer Jon Meacham, “a big, grand, absorbing exploration of not just Jefferson and his role in history but also Jefferson the man, humanized as never before” (Entertainment Weekly)

“Probably the best single-volume biography of Jefferson ever written.”—Gordon S. Wood

A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, The Seattle Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, BookPage
This magnificent biography brings vividly to life an extraordinary man and his remarkable times, giving us Thomas Jefferson the man, the politician, and the president. A Founder whose understanding of power and of human nature enabled him to move men and marshal ideas, to learn from his mistakes and to prevail, Jefferson was passionate about many things—women, his family, science, architecture, gardening, Monticello, Paris, and more. He strove, despite fierce opposition, to realize his vision: the creation, survival, and success of popular government in America. 
Drawing on archives in the United States, England, and France, as well as unpublished transcripts of Jefferson presidential papers, Jon Meacham shows us the personal Jefferson, a man of appetite, sensuality, and passion. He also presents Jefferson as the most successful political leader of the early republic, and perhaps in all American history, a leader who found the means to endure and to win. His story resonates today not least because he led his nation through ferocious partisanship amid economic change and external threats. Jefferson also embodies an eternal drama, the struggle of the leadership of a nation to achieve greatness in a difficult and confounding world.


  • This is how to write good history!

    By Mainejayne
    This is one of the best biographies I have ever read: it brilliantly captures the character, complexity, and contradictions of this endlessly intriguing man. By focusing on the Art of Power, Meacham gives us a compelling and cohesive narrative spanning eight decades.
  • More like a textbook

    By ED’s Twinkle
    This reads much more like a textbook than a novel. It bounces all over the timeline of Jefferson’s life instead of telling a story chronologically. My favorite parts are when the author describes land, buildings, attire etc. I’m intrigued to read a different type of book about Jefferson, perhaps his autobiography. I’d like to know much more about Monticello and the various people that worked his property. Would I read this again, no.
  • High bar

    By BillGatesFreckles
    Poignant I should conclude this book on the eve of a new presidency that could very dismantle the 240 years of progress Jefferson helped create. Should be required reading for ever voter and president. It least we'll have this to rebuild from.
  • Qualified success

    By Dissatiafied
    This book was very good, but the on-line version was frustrating in that pages were missing. Shame on you ITunes for not making sure this book was not was formatted properly! I hope I don't run into this problem again!!
  • Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

    By Dr. Brodar
    Great book! I wish my American History class had revealed as much as this book. This helped with some concepts of historical time lines that I did not know were related. The second amendment has nothing to do with hunting or self protection. It was designed to help keep our own government in check with an armed civilian population. The concepts of government borrowing is not new. What it has highlighted within me is the "lost concept of a REPUBLICAN.". If the republic does not hold, then the democratic concepts fail. The term "a monocrate" was new for me. Very inspiring to see how it all began and then where it has gone.
  • The of power about Thomas Jefferson

    By Showorker
    It was a great book to read learn alot.
  • The art of power

    By Dtboo7
    Well done !
  • Very well put together answers old & frames new questions

    By Itscrazycock
    I do not read as much as I should, & this book hooked me almost immediately. I quickly felt the need to share it with my 12yr old and my wife. This book has started or provided context for so many dinner conversations I've lost count. I could go on & on but I dare you to read the first few chapters & try to put it back on the shelf.