O, FOR HISTORY: Jon Meacham & Thomas Jefferson

This morning I completed Jon Meacham’s THOMAS JEFFERSON: THE ART OF POWER and I cannot say enough about this book and how much I loved it.

Much of Jefferson’s life I already knew but Mr. Meacham turned this enormous man’s life into some of the finest storytelling I’ve ever experienced. The people and places were 3-Dimensional, often seeming as though they were seated right next to me discussing the scenes so vividly described by the author.

The last fifteen minutes, plus Mr. Meacham’s own voiced epilogue were powerful. I did not want July 4, 1826 to come. And, once it arrived, Meacham’s words wielded immense beauty and power much like the man whose story he told.

Brilliant.

There were a number of quotes from the book, both in Jefferson’s and Meacham’s own words, that stood out and I’d like to share them.

“I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” —PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY, at a dinner in honor of all living recipients of the Nobel Prize, 1962. Jon Meacham, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

“It did not speak well of the power of God, in other words, if He needed a human government to prop him up.”

Jon Meacham, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

“Our greatest leaders are neither dreamers nor dictators: They are, like Jefferson, those who articulate national aspirations yet master the mechanics of influence and know when to depart from dogma.”

Jon Meacham, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

“Broadly put, philosophers think: politicians maneuver. Jefferson’s genius was that he was both and could do both, often simultaneously. Such is the art of power.”

Jon Meacham, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

“He turned the presidency – and the President’s House – into something it had not been before: a center of curiosity and inquiry, of vibrant institution that played informal but important roles in the broader life of the nation, from science to literature.”

Jon Meacham, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

”A politician’s task was to bring reality and policy into the greatest possible account with the ideal and the principled.”

Jon Meacham, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

About Wright Flyer Guy

Darin is a single adoptive father, a teacher, playwright, and musical theatre director from Kettering, Ohio.
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