Jefferson

Architect of American Liberty

by John B. Boles

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780465094684
  • 9780465094691
From an eminent scholar of the American South, the first full-scale biography of Thomas Jefferson since 1970

Not since Merrill Peterson's Thomas Jefferson and the New Nation has a scholar attempted to write a comprehensive biography of the most complex Founding Father. In Jefferson, John B. Boles plumbs every facet of Thomas Jefferson's life, all while situating him amid the sweeping upheaval of his times. We meet Jefferson the politician and political thinker--as well as Jefferson the architect, scientist, bibliophile, paleontologist, musician, and gourmet. We witness him drafting of the Declaration of Independence, negotiating the Louisiana Purchase, and inventing a politics that emphasized the states over the federal government--a political philosophy that shapes our national life to this day.

Boles offers new insight into Jefferson's actions and thinking on race. His Jefferson is not a hypocrite, but a tragic figure--a man who could not hold simultaneously to his views on abolition, democracy, and patriarchal responsibility. Yet despite his flaws, Jefferson's ideas would outlive him and make him into nothing less than the architect of American liberty.


  • Basic Books; April 2017
  • ISBN: 9780465094691
  • Edition: 1
  • Read online, or download in secure ePub format
  • Title: Jefferson
  • Author: John B. Boles
  • Imprint: Basic Books
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780465094684
  • 9780465094691

In The Press

"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


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.

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780465094684
  • 9780465094691