Mr. Jefferson’s Women
by: Jon Kukla
Published by: Vintage Books
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Reviewed by Nicole M. Winget
We all know the accomplishments of Thomas Jefferson. He helped form our country and set us down the path of becoming a great nation. However, most of us don’t know what helped form the foundation of his personality and how the stops along his personal path affected who he was and the decisions he made. Mr. Jefferson’s Women takes a look at how several women crossed his path and how these women affected Thomas Jefferson is profound and life-altering ways.
Thomas Jefferson’s interactions with the women in his family, his first love, wives of fellow politicians, and his slaves, all combined to form his opinion of women and their roles in society. This book dissects several of these relationships to expose how they impacted Jefferson’s opinions and actions. While the book does expose Jefferson as anything but friendly to women’s rights, it does it in a fair way, giving time and place context to the statements and actions of Jefferson.
The book spends most of the time in five chapters, each dedicated to a detailed look at a specific relationship, all of which were some form of love interest. The last two chapters give an overview of other women who were not love interests, but had an impact on Jefferson. The book concludes with a trove of letters and detailed information that give great reference points and further research paths.
For those of us who have a storybook take on the lives of the founding fathers, this book is eye opening and somewhat shocking but highly interesting. It is a quick and easy read that is entertaining and informative. Anyone who has an even cursory interest in Thomas Jefferson will find this book a welcome addition to their collection.
Armchair Interviews says: We see the other side of one of the great names of our nation’s history.
Author’s Web site: http://www.JonKukla.com
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