Wednesday, January 9, 2013

by Henry Wiencek

He was one of our Founding Fathers, a lawyer, a statesman, author of the Declaration of Independence, helping to bring about the Louisiana Purchase. His magnificent mansion, Monticello, was designed and influenced by his many years living in Paris. To many people, he was thought of as the great emancipator. It certainly seemed to start out that way. In the 1770s, he both spoke and wrote about stopping the slave trade. It was even written in the Declaration but then later deleted.
In the next ten to twenty years, Thomas Jefferson changed his tune. Instead of speaking out against it, he became silent. Jefferson realized that he couldn't live without slaves; they're what made things run smoothly at Monticello. Slavery was a huge investment and quite profitable for him. For Jefferson, this was a way to have status and power.
Master of the Mountain has already become very controversial especially among ardent Jefferson supporters. This book flips everything that you think you know about Jefferson upside down. Henry Wiencek used many of Jefferson's papers that have never appeared before. There's so much information and much of it is disturbing but you can't stop reading it. The writing is superb and so was the amount of research done.
This is one book you don't want to miss.
Very highly recommended.