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View Diary: Bricks, or the Damnedest Clues in the Damnedest Places (152 comments)

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  •  Recommend excellent book on T Jefferson (10+ / 0-)

    "Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and his slaves" by Henry Wiencek

    solid research

    well written

    from a review

    As depicted by Wiencek, the older Jefferson resembles a modern-day 1-percenter, building and then rebuilding the lavish estate and plantation of Monticello, engaging in risky financial speculation, mortgaging his property (the most valuable of which happened to be human), coolly calculating his return on investment, and enlisting middlemen to do the dirty work required to operate such enterprises. Then he cloaked the whole caboodle in high-flown double talk about freedom, occasionally stooping to blaming the people he owned for their predicament.
    http://www.salon.com/...
    •  That book is on my to-read stack (11+ / 0-)

      "Mr. Jefferson" is held in particular regard in my part of the country, almost as a demi-god.  Monticello is beautiful on its own, but so much richer now that the foundation is recognizing the existence of all its occupants.

      The past 10 years especially have been really interesting.  There's a sea change.

      I live about 40 miles due west of Monticello.  For decades, local historians and authorities alike have treated the existence of slavery as something that happened "elsewhere."  Only recently have they begun to recognize it and, in recognizing, move past fixing on the fact that slavery happened and start dealing with the years after emancipation and the achievements our A/A neighbors have made despite all the obstacles and discriminations both large and small.

      "I speak the truth, not as much as I would, but as much as I dare, and I dare a little the more, as I grow older." --Montaigne

      by DrLori on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 11:17:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Historian friend says that scholarship is solid (7+ / 0-)

        Friend wrote a book in 1974 that should have won the Pulitzer prize. "The American Revolution of 1800." For the first time he took seriously what Jefferson said, namely that the revolution of 1800 was as significant as the revolution of 1776.

        The friend, with little money, and used materials, is building Monticello West. The book shook him to his core.

        He is right this minute working on an article with Thom Hartman about how the 2nd amendment was aimed at controlling slaves. There was a long article on this in 1998 and Dan is adding some research from the times.

        Dan also mentioned a book written a dozen years ago about Jefferson and the Indians. He played a major role in their destruction and like the slavery issue, he hid it. The author of that book looked at every scrap of documents by Jefferson.

        An incredible man but had to bridge so many areas and feed his appetites that he fell down badly in some areas.

        Enjoy the Masters of the Mountain.

        •  I don't doubt the scholarship (4+ / 0-)

          especially since the most that Wiencek's detractors have been able to pin on him was the nitpick about the nail factory.

          Jefferson was human and had his faults.  Our mistake is trying to make an ideal out of a man.

          Annette Gordon-Reed's Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy was the first application of solid scholarship to the Jefferson myth, and I remember the ruckus it raised.  

          I'm looking very much forward to reading Master of the Mountain, and Meacham's book, too.

          "I speak the truth, not as much as I would, but as much as I dare, and I dare a little the more, as I grow older." --Montaigne

          by DrLori on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 02:50:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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