978-0-670-88933-4 / 0670889334

Thomas Jefferson: Genius of Liberty

by Library of Congress




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About the book:

A companion book to a Library of Congress bicentennial exhibition, with an introduction by Garry Wills; a narrative with more than 150 illustrations, two thirds in color and essays by scholars on Jefferson's life and thought

April 2000 will launch a panoply of events celebrating the Library of Congress's 200th anniversary, the star of which will be the exhibition Thomas Jefferson: Genius of Liberty. Featuring more than 150 valuable and historic items and a rare public display of the Jefferson library that is the nucleus of the Library's collections, both the exhibition and its companion book will seek out the complex character, ideals, and motivations behind the mythic founding achievements of this brilliant son of the Enlightenment.

The book's lively narrative, illuminated by Jefferson's own words, weaves back and forth between the public career--delegate to the Continental Congress, author of the Declaration of Independence and other calls to liberty, governor of Virginia, two-term president--and his life at his beloved plantation and house, Monticello. Commentaries on manuscripts explore the conflicts between his public ideals, political realities, and his private life, including the recent controversial evidence of a long liaison with his slave Sally Hemings. From his worldview to his family relationships, Thomas Jefferson provides a new and intimate sense of the man historians have only recently begun to extricate from the lofty abstractions that have born his name.

The Scholars:

( Garry Wills's Lincoln at Gettysburg won a Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

( Joseph J. Ellis is the author of the National Book Award-winning American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson;

( Annette Gordon-Reed of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy;

( Pauline Maier of American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence;

( Charles A. Miller of Jefferson and Nature: An Interpretation;

Peter S. Onuf was the editor of Jeffersonian Legacies.

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