Jefferson on Jefferson
Paul M. Zall (Editor)
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DescriptionA new and more complex portrait of Thomas Jefferson, as told by Jefferson himself. Not trusting biographers with his story and frustrated by his friends' failure to justify his role in the American Revolution, Thomas Jefferson wrote his autobiography on his own terms at the age of seventy-seven. The resulting book ends, well before his death, with his return from France at the age of forty-six. Asked for additional details concerning his life, Jefferson often claimed to have a "decayed memory." Fortunately, this shrewd politician, philosopher, architect, inventor, farmer, and scientist penned nearly eighteen thousand letters in his lifetime, saving almost every scrap he wrote. In Jefferson on Jefferson, Paul Zall returns to original manuscripts and correspondence for a new view of the statesman's life. He extends the story where Jefferson left off, weaving excerpts from other writings -- notes, rough drafts, and private correspondence -- with passages from the original autobiography. Jefferson reveals his grief over the death of his daughter, details his hotly contested election against John Adams (decided by the House of Representatives), expresses his thoughts on religion, and tells of life at Monticello.
The University Press of Kentucky
30 April 2002
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