This is a refreshingly slim (250 pages), highly readable, and nicely illustrated short bio of a man who has inspired great admiration, considerable puzzlement, and plenty of much heftier books. The author, a longtime senior editor of "American Heritage" magazine, makes Jefferson humanly comprehensible and handily summarizes his achievements and shortcomings (including the man's racism and male chauvinism). Some final assessment chapters make especially tidy work of the big gun historians who tried so hard to ignore and refute the Sally Hemings embarrassment, but Halliday makes the relationship understandable and very much of a piece with the rest of this great man's life.
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The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus