Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power:

The Art of Power

A #1 New York Times Bestseller

Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

One of the 2012 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction

One of the 2012 Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books: Biographies

A 2012 Washington Post Best Book for Nonfiction

A 2012 Entertainment Weekly Best Book for Nonfiction

A 2012 Seattle Times Best Book for Nonfiction

Selected for the December 2012 Indie Next List

An Amazon Best Book of the Month for November 2012

A USA Today Bestseller

In this magnificent biography, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of American Lion and Franklin and Winston brings vividly to life an extraordinary man and his remarkable times. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power gives us Jefferson the politician and president, a great and complex human being forever engaged in the wars of his era. Philosophers think; politicians maneuver. Jefferson’s genius was that he was both and could do both, often simultaneously. Such is the art of power.

Thomas Jefferson hated confrontation, and yet his understanding of power and of human nature enabled him to move men and to marshal ideas, to learn from his mistakes, and to prevail. Passionate about many things—women, his family, books, science, architecture, gardens, friends, Monticello, and Paris—Jefferson loved America most, and he strove over and over again, despite fierce opposition, to realize his vision: the creation, survival, and success of popular government in America. Jon Meacham lets us see Jefferson’s world as Jefferson himself saw it, and to appreciate how Jefferson found the means to endure and win in the face of rife partisan division, economic uncertainty, and external threat. Drawing on archives in the United States, England, and France, as well as unpublished Jefferson presidential papers, Meacham presents Jefferson as the most successful political leader of the early republic, and perhaps in all of American history.

The father of the ideal of individual liberty, of the Louisiana Purchase, of the Lewis and Clark expedition, and of the settling of the West, Jefferson recognized the genius of humanity, and of the new nation, lay in the possibility of progress, of discovering the undiscovered and seeking the unknown. From the writing of the Declaration of Independence to elegant dinners in Paris and in the President’s House; from political maneuverings in the boardinghouses and legislative halls of Philadelphia and New York to the infant capital on the Potomac; from his complicated life at Monticello, his breathtaking house and plantation in Virginia, to the creation of the University of Virginia, Jefferson was central to the age. Here too is the personal Jefferson, a man of appetite, sensuality, and passion.

The Jefferson story resonates today not least because he led his nation through ferocious partisanship and cultural warfare amid economic change and external threats, and also because he embodies an eternal drama, the struggle of the leadership of a nation to achieve greatness in a difficult and confounding world.

Editorial Reviews

“This terrific book allows us to see the political genius of Thomas Jefferson better than we have ever seen it before. In these endlessly fascinating pages, Jefferson emerges with such vitality that it seems as if he might still be alive today.”

Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of Team of Rivals

“Meacham does an excellent job getting inside Jefferson’s head and his world…Meacham presents Jefferson’s life in a textured narrative that weaves together Jefferson’s well-traveled career.”

USA Today

“A big, grand, absorbing exploration of not just Jefferson and his role in history but also Jefferson the man, humanized as never before.”

Entertainment Weekly

“Fascinating and insightful…Many books have been written about Jefferson’s life, but few have created such a vivid portrait”

Associated Press

“A Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer lauds the political genius of Thomas Jefferson…An outstanding biography that reveals an overlooked steeliness at Jefferson’s core that accounts for so much of his political success.”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Author Biography

Jon Meacham is the author of several bestselling books, including Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, a #1 New York Times bestseller named one of the best books of the year by the New York Times Book Review, Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, Seattle Times, and St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Meacham received the Pulitzer Prize for American Lion, his bestselling 2008 biography of Andrew Jackson. Executive editor and executive vice president of Random House, he is also a contributing editor to Time magazine, a former editor of Newsweek, and has written for the New York Times and Washington Post, among other publications. He is a regular contributor on Meet the Press, Morning Joe, and Charlie Rose. A Fellow of the Society of American Historians, Meacham serves on the boards of the New York Historical Society, Churchill Centre, and McCallie School. He is a former trustee and regent of Sewanee: The University of the South, and has served on the vestries of St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue and Trinity Wall Street church in New York City. Born in Chattanooga in 1969, he was educated at The McCallie School and at Sewanee: The University of the South, where he was salutatorian and Phi Beta Kappa. He began his career as a reporter at Chattanooga Times. He and his wife live with their three children in Nashville and Sewanee.

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Reader Biography

Edward Herrmann (1943–2014) was one of America’s top audiobook narrators. He won multiple Earphones and Audie Awards, and his narration of the King James version of the Bible remains a benchmark in the industry.

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