New York Times best-selling, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Garry Wills, a two-time National Book Critics Circle Award winner, takes a bold and fresh look at Thomas Jefferson. Negro President reveals just how strong slave influence was on determining Jefferson’s policies. Through thorough research Wills shows precisely how this “slave power” helped shape the course of a fledgling nation.More
“Garry Wills is a thinker of first rate. He combines the vigor of the social critic with the depth of the historian, and to these he adds the even rarer gifts of the philosopher.” (New Republic)
“A thorough political analysis of another founding father’s involvement in slavery.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
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Interesting Book with a Misleading Title
The reading is competent, but contains odd pauses and cadences. Although Gary Wills wrote the book, he reads it like the text is unfamiliar.
The book covered an aspect of American history unknown to me. I had not realized how important the slave count was in determining representation, and hence votes in Congress. Wills does a reasonable job of making this point.
However, the title is misleading. Thomas Jefferson is not a major figure in the book. Much more time is spent on his opponents and opponents of slavery, such as Timothy Pickering. Since these are interesting men, I did not mind the odd title.