biographies, book reviews, Jon Meacham, presidential biographies, Pulitzer Prize, Thomas Jefferson
“Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power” is author Jon Meacham’s fifth and most recent book, having been published in late 2012. Meacham received the Pulitzer Prize for his 2008 biography of Andrew Jackson, and has also written about Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill as well as the civil rights movement and the influence of religion in American politics.
“The Art of Power” is by a significant margin the most popular and widely-read Jefferson biography available today. Well-written and fast paced, Meacham’s accounting of Jefferson’s life is both entertaining and enjoyable, and requires little patience or fortitude on the part of the reader. With about five hundred pages of text, Meacham’s work seems to occupy a desirable space for modern biographies – it is comprehensive enough to cover the most salient aspects of its subject’s life, but is not so lengthy that it requires an exorbitant commitment of time or attention.
In contrast to the exhaustive accounts of Jefferson’s life authored by Dumas Malone and Merrill Peterson, Meacham’s narrative almost seems to sprint through the eight decades of our third president’s life. Where Malone spends nearly twelve hundred pages describing Jefferson’s terms as president, Meacham sets aside slightly fewer than one hundred. But that is part of the delight of this biography: in relatively few pages it manages to capture…
– Click here for the full review at BestPresidentialBios.com –