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Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

  • May 5, 2013 · 3:00 PM
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http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-november-14-2012/jon-meacham?xrs=share_copy

In this magnificent biography, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of American Lion and Franklin and Winston brings vividly to life an extraordinary man and his remarkable times. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power gives us Jefferson the politician and president, a great and complex human being forever engaged in the wars of his era. Philosophers think; politicians maneuver. Jefferson’s genius was that he was both and could do both, often simultaneously. Such is the art of power.
Thomas Jefferson hated confrontation, and yet his understanding of power and of human nature enabled him to move men and to marshal ideas, to learn from his mistakes, and to prevail. Passionate about many things—women, his family, books, science, architecture, gardens, friends, Monticello, and Paris—Jefferson loved America most, and he strove over and over again, despite fierce opposition, to realize his vision: the creation, survival, and success of popular government in America. Jon Meacham lets us see Jefferson’s world as Jefferson himself saw it, and to appreciate how Jefferson found the means to endure and win in the face of rife partisan division, economic uncertainty, and external threat. Drawing on archives in the United States, England, and France, as well as unpublished Jefferson presidential papers, Meacham presents Jefferson as the most successful political leader of the early republic, and perhaps in all of American history.

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  • Mary

    I hope that everyone who read the book enjoyed and that it was worth suggesting.

    May 8, 2013

  • Cheryl

    Thanks for hosting, Art! You were well prepared and did a great job. :)

    May 8, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great. The discussion was led very well and the contributions were superb.

    May 8, 2013

  • David D.

    I did not read this book but have read other biographies of Jefferson. He was a remarkable person, considering his position in time.

    May 8, 2013

  • Leo F.

    Sorry for the last minute notice, I won't be able to make it today.

    May 5, 2013

  • Art J.

    Listed below are some discussion questions for “Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power” by Jon Meacham. If you have read the book, then share your insights with group. If did not read the book, you are still welcome to share your observations on Jefferson and his life.
    1. From “Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power”, share with the group something you did not know prior to reading the book.
    2. Did you feel that the book fulfilled your expectations? Were you disappointed?
    3. A general theme of The Art of Power is maintaining a balance between speaking of ideals and acting pragmatically. What are some examples of Jefferson maintaining this balance?
    4. What is Sally Hemmings role in Jefferson’s life? Are Hemmings and Jefferson personality’s two sides of the same coin? What are the dynamics of this relationship?

    May 2, 2013

    • Art J.

      5. How would Jon Meacham’s Jefferson view the partisan deadlock that currently exists in Washington? Speculate how he would resolve issues such as Gun Control, Guantanamo Bay detention camp and the path to legalize 11 million illegal aliens.
      6. What are your favorite parts of “Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power”?

      May 2, 2013

  • Andy

    Sorry, work requirement came up. Great book and you should have a great discussion that I'm sorry I'll miss.

    May 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Very bummed I can't be there cause I actually read the book but an emergency will take me out, have fun all and enjoy!

    May 2, 2013

  • Mary G.

    Since Boswell's Books is so kindly hosting this group and giving members a discount on the books for the group I'd like to encourage people to buy from them. Let's help keep independent brick and mortar books stores alive.

    1 · February 5, 2013

    • Cheryl

      OK thanks for the info, Art. :)

      February 13, 2013

    • Cheryl

      I should mention, too, that even when I don't purchase the book we're discussing from Boswell, I DO buy other things there, every time I'm there. I've bought quite a few greeting cards, other books that were on sale, a couple of gift items, etc. :)

      1 · February 13, 2013

  • Mary G.

    Boswell is sponsoring this group & group is held at Boswell's I suggest buying books for this group there in gratitude

    February 5, 2013

  • Mary G.

    Thanks for reply. I think Boswell discount 10%

    February 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Definitely don't buy it at Barnes and Noble - they're clocking in at the full price of $35. I did get mine in hardcover on Amazon for $19.79 this morning but that ebay deal sounds like a winner. Try half.com too for good deals. They're a division of eBay that sells books, movies, etc. outright instead of by auction. If you have an eBay user id, it works on half.com too.

    1 · February 4, 2013

    • Cheryl

      Yes, I've bought from half.com many times; they do have good deals sometimes! :) When buying books, though, I always use three sites that search the various book-selling sites (incl. half.com) for the best price. I've found it's necessary to use all three, as almost invariably one of the sites finds a lower price than the other two did.

      1 · February 4, 2013

    • Cheryl

      I usually check bookcloseouts.com, too, but they are hit or miss and often don't have books as recently published as this one (I did check for this one--they don't have it). The 3 searching sites I use, in case anyone wants to check them out, are: addall.com, bookfinder.com and allbookstores.com.

      1 · February 4, 2013

  • Cheryl

    For those of us who buy the books (not the Kindle edition), there are 10 copies available on ebay for about $4 less than Amazon's price: http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140894455686

    1 · February 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great way to do this. I've marked the parts I *think* I'll be interested in (namely Revolutionary War activity, Paris years and after-President years). This may change as I get into the book but I'll be up for discussing any of the chapters.

    PART I || THE SCION · BEGINNINGS TO SPRING 1774
    PART II || THE REVOLUTIONARY · SPRING 1774 TO SUMMER 1776
    * PART III || REFORMER AND GOVERNOR · LATE 1776 TO 1782
    PART IV || THE FRUSTRATED CONGRESSMAN · LATE 1782 TO MID-1784
    * PART V || A MAN OF THE WORLD · 1785 TO 1789
    PART VI || THE FIRST SECRETARY OF STATE · 1789 TO 1792
    PART VII || THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION · 1793 TO 1800
    PART VIII || THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES · 1801 TO 1809
    * PART IX || THE MASTER OF MONTICELLO · 1809 TO THE END

    1 · February 4, 2013

  • Art J.

    This is a great book but it is over 500 pages in 9 parts. We can go over each part, so you can choose which part interests you. I marked an * on chapters I found interesting. A great way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.
    PART I || THE SCION · BEGINNINGS TO SPRING 1774
    PART II || THE REVOLUTIONARY · SPRING 1774 TO SUMMER 1776
    * PART III || REFORMER AND GOVERNOR · LATE 1776 TO 1782
    PART IV || THE FRUSTRATED CONGRESSMAN · LATE 1782 TO MID-1784
    * PART V || A MAN OF THE WORLD · 1785 TO 1789
    * PART VI || THE FIRST SECRETARY OF STATE · 1789 TO 1792
    * PART VII || THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION · 1793 TO 1800
    * PART VIII || THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES · 1801 TO 1809
    PART IX || THE MASTER OF MONTICELLO · 1809 TO THE END

    February 3, 2013

  • Art J.

    Let's make this a book for Feb 2013, and I will volunteer as the discussion facilitator.

    December 2, 2012

  • Art J.

    Great Choice. John Meacham is the best! He reminds us that diversity and compromise is a American tradition on how things get in our country. Can't wait to read this one.

    November 18, 2012

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