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Jefferson: Architect of American Liberty Hardcover – April 25, 2017

4.8 out of 5 stars 89 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Magisterial...perhaps the finest one-volume biography of an American president."―Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post

"[A] splendid biography."―Wall Street Journal

"The fullest and most complete single-volume life of Jefferson since Merrill Peterson's thousand-page biography of 1970."―Gordon Wood, Weekly Standard

"A sympathetic (though not hagiographic) view of Jefferson that emphasizes the differences between his world and ours....[Jefferson] was, in Mr. Boles's words, the 'architect of American liberty,' a phrase the author uses without the sneers or hedges that have become de rigueur among recent chroniclers of the founding era....[a] splendid biography."―Wall Street Journal

"[A] good, solid, generally fair-minded biography... [Boles's] biography concentrates on the exterior events of Jefferson's private and public lives and weaves them together in a straightforward, clearly written narrative. It is the fullest and most complete single-volume life of Jefferson since Merrill Peterson's thousand-page biography of 1970."―
Gordon Wood, Weekly Standard


"For all readers interested in understanding the enigmatic and controversial Jefferson as well as his shortcomings and triumphs within the context of his time."―Library Journal

"In a narrative as majestic as its subject, Boles takes a fresh, nuanced look at one of the America's most enigmatic founding fathers... Boles, an accomplished scholar well versed in the source material, deftly paints a picture of the world as Jefferson knew it, taking care not to mix up understanding with excusing, especially with the Virginian's relationship with Sally Hemings. This is a gem of a biography."―Publishers Weekly

"John Boles's deeply researched and judiciously balanced Jefferson is an exemplary biography. Animated by a warm and wise admiration for a great American, Boles never loses sight of Jefferson's limitations and failures-or of his extraordinary achievements."―Peter Onuf, University of Virginia, and coauthor, with Annette Gordon-Reed, of 'Most Blessed of the Patriarchs': Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination

"Intensely satisfying... Boles does a particularly skillful job at weaving Jefferson's correspondence and other writings into the busy tempo of his year-to-year life, creating a fascinating dialogue on the page between the reserved and often diffident public man and direct and provocative private writer."―Christian Science Monitor

"[An] elegant, highly incisive new biography... The detail is impressive, equally so the fluidity of the presentation. The reader is enveloped in Jefferson's world."―Booklist

About the Author

John B. Boles is the William P. Hobby Professor of History at Rice University and the former editor of the Journal of Southern History. He lives in Houston, Texas.

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
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Reviewed in the United States on May 11, 2017
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Top international reviews

Wyn
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 11, 2017
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Dudley John
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 2, 2019
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Donna
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended. Excellent.
Reviewed in Canada on July 17, 2017
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Marvin B. Ostrom
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
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