Leah: Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson by R.B. Bernstein
President number three! 3.5 stars

What I learned about Thomas Jefferson:

  • He had red hair.
  • He was involved with the Louisiana Purchase and Louis and Clark’s expedition
  • He had very conflicting ideas on many things – religion, slavery, etc.
  • He was the founder of the University of Virginia (and has students as rebellious as some today!!!)
  • Monticello was mostly a disaster for Jefferson’s entire life because he kept reconstructing it.

What I wish I learned:

  • More about the conflict between him and Adams. I feel like it was glossed over. It DID explain a lot about the conflict between the Federalists and Republicans but I would have liked more on their friendship, personally.
  • More about Jefferson’s time overseas. I felt like I learned a lot more from the Adams biography. I also know from Adams’ biography that Jefferson has a friendship with Abigail Adams which this book barely touched on.

I feel like is Jefferson is glamorized in history books/society. This book showed a lot of his faults. I went back and forth between thinking, “This guy isn’t so nice” and “This guy is human, just like the rest of us.” He also was a very forward thinker which often got him in “trouble” because it didn’t agree with the opinions of his time.

Perhaps one day I will pick up another book on Jefferson because I feel like there was a lot more to learn. Overall, this book was a good start and relatively easy to read.

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