- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 15 hours and 5 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
- Audible.com Release Date: May 1, 2009
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0028MK7UG
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson Audiobook – Unabridged
|New from||Used from|
|Free with your Audible trial|
Customers who bought this item also bought
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Perhaps the first thing to understand when reading a book by this author is that it is scholarly, not light reading. There are facts and allegories, to be sure, but mostly there is a philosophical attempt to distill the essence of Jefferson. This is not for the faint-hearted, and Ellis shrinks from nothing.
The very core of the distillate, he argues, is American individualism, the unwillingness to be governed except when faced by a common (unifying) threat. In the absence of such a unifier, Americans inherently distrust government and give their consent only grudgingly. Ellis argues convincingly that this is exactly what Jefferson himself would have wanted, a people who remain possessive about their individuality and who adjust their government as their changing needs may require.
The epilogue of the book, however, strikes me as a bit too pedantic. The author in effect belittles not only the continuous political co-opting of Jeffersonianisms, but he actually names the Internet and chat rooms on AOL (!) as tools which Jefferson would have very much approved of, but which are mostly (entirely?) filled with comments and conversations about Jefferson that are complete and utter nonsense.
Personally, I agree with the former premise and take exception to the latter. Jefferson belongs to us all and no one, not even Professor Ellis, has cornered the market on Jeffersonian Truth.
Declaration of Ind
Most recent customer reviews
Hugely instructive for understanding fundamentals of the American psyche(s).