Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves

Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves

Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves

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Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves

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Beschreibung

Henry Wiencek's eloquent, persuasive Master of the Mountain-based on new information coming from archival research, archaeological work at Monticello, and hitherto overlooked or disregarded evidence in Thomas Jefferson's own papers-opens up a huge, poorly understood dimension of Jefferson's faraway world. We must, Wiencek suggests, follow the money.

Wiencek's Jefferson is a man of business and public affairs who makes a success of his debt-ridden plantation thanks to what he calls the "silent profit" gained from his slaves-and thanks to the skewed morals of the political and social world that he and thousands of others readily inhabited. It is not a pretty story. Slave boys are whipped to make them work in the nail factory at Monticello that pays Jefferson's grocery bills. Slaves are bought, sold, given as gifts, and used as collateral for the loan that pays for Monticello's construction-while Jefferson composes theories that obscure the dynamics of what he himself called "the execrable commerce." Many people saw a catastrophe coming and tried to stop it, but not Jefferson. The pursuit of happiness had become deeply corrupted, and an oligarchy was getting very rich. Is this the quintessential American story?

"[A] brilliant examination of the dark side of the man who gave the world the most ringing declarations about human liberty." --Jonathan Yardley, "The Washington Post ""In this deeply provocative and crisply written journey into the dark heart of slavery at Monticello, Henry Wiencek brings into focus a side of Jefferson that Americans have largely failed--or not cared--to see. This book will change forever the way that we think about the author of the Declaration of Independence."
--Fergus M. Bordewich, "The Wall Street Journal "
"As an engrossing investigation into Jefferson's change of heart and mind, "Master of the Mountain "is narrative history wrapped around an incendiary device: surely, political pundits and Jeffersonians will be wrestling over Wiencek's explosive interpretations of the historical evidence--some of it newly discovered--for years to come . . . One of the incontestable strengths of Wiencek's book is the way it transports readers deep into the hierarchical world of Jefferson's Monticello."
--Maureen Corrigan, "Fresh Air ""[Wiencek's] account of Jefferson's evolving and convoluted position on the subject is all the more damning for his restraint . . . Every American should read it. As depicted by Wiencek, the older Jefferson resembles a modern-day 1-percenter . . . We try to persuade ourselves that the author of some of our most inspiring political works was not a self-serving hypocrite. But given the bountiful evidence offered in "Master of the Mountain," it's now impossible to see him any other way."
--Laura Miller, "Salon ""[A] commanding stud[y] of a central area of American history, and [a] pioneering work[ ] in an ongoing battle for justice. Wiencek provides more detail about Thomas Jefferson's history of slaveholding than has ever existed in one place before, making an important adjustment to a bowdlerized historical record."
--Lawrence P. Jackson, "Los Angeles Review of Books ""Compelli

Details

Einband

Taschenbuch

Erscheinungsdatum

03.09.2013

Verlag

Farrar Strauss & Giroux

Seitenzahl

368

Beschreibung

Details

Einband

Taschenbuch

Erscheinungsdatum

03.09.2013

Verlag

Farrar Strauss & Giroux

Seitenzahl

368

Maße (L/B/H)

22,1/14,6/3 cm

Gewicht

449 g

Sprache

Englisch

ISBN

978-0-374-53402-8

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