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Publisher's Summary

The fourth volume of this Pulitzer Prize-winning biography vividly recounts Jefferson's eventful first presidential term. Though characterized by calmer seas than his second presidential voyage, Jefferson's first years in office find him confronting a nation deeply divided following the administrations of Washington and Adams, and many subsequent conflicts. He acquires the vast territory of Louisiana for the United States, challenges the growing power of the federal judiciary, and continues to press his opposition to the Hamiltonian doctrine of an overriding central government. He also assumes the unchallenged leadership of his party and is universally acknowledged as the preeminent American patron of science and general learning.
©1970 Dumas Malone; (P)1998 Blackstone Audio Inc.
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Critic Reviews



Pulitzer Prize winner for history, 1975
"This is the best so far of an already superbly distinguished series which will constitute when finished one of the finest historical biographies of our time." (New York Review of Books)
"In the grand design of Mr. Malone's comprehensive biography, the present volume maintains the magnificent quality of the preceding ones and in one sense outstrips them by fulfilling an urgent need in American scholarship....Henceforth, no one will dare to pronounce on any aspect of it, without having studied closely this [biography] of a great president by a great historian." (New York Times Book Review)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Dale on 09-06-11

Classic work, so-so reading

The work is probably the definitive biography of Thomas Jefferson. It's hard to imagine one more complete or better executed and is a real joy to read. Some reviews on this state that Malone is "pro-Jefferson" and biased towards him. Certainly, Malone is admires Jefferson (I can't imagine spending so many years on one man and not feeling some attachment to him), but he always seems objective regarding the facts in any given controversy and doesn't spare TJ any criticism when warranted. On the other hand, TJ made many enemies over his lifetime and these made numerous claims without necessarily being based in facts. Malone examines each with care and reason. The recording is dated in the late-1990s and was originally on cassette tapes. This is known because there is an occasional slip as she announces the beginning of a new tape from time to time. There are some technical problems and I recall these being mainly in the 1st and 5th volumes. On the whole, they aren't a big deal. Her tone is a bit wry for my taste but she gets the job done (the big, big job).

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By Jeffrey on 06-13-07

Thomas Jefferson and his time

The worst book on jefferson I ever listened to. The author repeats himself more than ten times on a verity of boring subjects. Beating my head on a wall would be an improvement on reading this dull uninspired trivial work on a great very intresting man.

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2 of 10 people found this review helpful

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