Jefferson's Secrets by Andrew Burstein
Death and Desire at Monticello

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Synopsis

When Thomas Jefferson died on July 4, 1826, he left behind a series of mysteries that have captured the imaginations of historical investigators for generations. In Jefferson's Secrets, Andrew Burstein draws on sources previous biographers have glossed over or missed entirely. Beginning with Jefferson's last days, Burstein shows how Jefferson confronted his own mortality. Burstein also tackles the crucial questions history has yet to answer: Did Jefferson love Sally Hemings? What were his attitudes towards women? Did he believe in God? How did he wish to be remembered? The result is a profound and nuanced portrait of the most complex of the Founding Fathers.
 

About Andrew Burstein

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Andrew Burstein is the Charles P. Manship Professor of History at Louisiana State University, and the author of The Passions of Andrew Jackson, Jefferson’s Secrets, and Madison and Jefferson, among others. Burstein’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, and Salon.com, and he advised Ken Burns’s production "Thomas Jefferson."  He has been featured on C-SPAN's American Presidents Series and Booknotes, as well as numerous NPR programs, including Talk of the Nation and The Diane Rehm Show. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
 
Published March 21, 2006 by Basic Books. 370 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Jefferson's Secrets

Kirkus Reviews

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Against a sweeping and readable history of the era, the authors explore the lives and political thought of the two men as well as their shared affection for the land and farming, as evidenced by their beloved country seats—Madison’s Montpelier and Jefferson’s Monticello—which are 25 miles apart.

Oct 01 2010 | Read Full Review of Jefferson's Secrets: Death an...

Kirkus Reviews

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yet, Burstein adds, Jefferson also took Jesus to be a philosopher and the Bible to be a work of history, not religion, and in general “trusted only in the known world.” The known world of Monticello included the eternal verities of birth, life, and death, and Burstein explores each, providing par...

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Publishers Weekly

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An adviser to Governor Jefferson of Virginia from 1779 to 1781, Madison was a leading congressman when Jefferson served as Washington's secretary of state, and vigorously supported Jefferson in the ultimately unsuccessful struggle against federalist Alexander Hamilton's influence.

Jul 12 2010 | Read Full Review of Jefferson's Secrets: Death an...

Publishers Weekly

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Burstein, an independent scholar who has taught and written extensively on early American history, has fashioned a book that should attract a wide readership.

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Publishers Weekly

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This is a deeply moving portrait of the aged Jefferson's body, mind and spirit that takes the measure, as Burstein says, of the full range of the founder's imagination.

Dec 13 2004 | Read Full Review of Jefferson's Secrets: Death an...

The New American

Madison reasoned that if the government of the United States engaged in a “deliberate, palpable and dangerous exercise of other powers not granted by the said compact, the states who are parties thereto have the right, and are duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil.” Tha...

Nov 08 2010 | Read Full Review of Jefferson's Secrets: Death an...

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