I will be truthful here, I am a big fan of Thomas Jefferson. I believe he was pivotal in setting a system of government that was fair and in line with natural law. With that said, this book exposes a side of Jefferson that is dark and disturbing. Wiencek has obviously done a lot of research on Jefferson's slave owning time. Much of the first half of the book relies on Jefferson's "Farm Book".
The book is riddled with words such as: probably, perhaps, maybe and assuming. That turns me off. As for the fact or lack thereof regarding his fathering of of children to Sally Hemmings, I find it irrelevant insofar as I wanted to know his actions with slaves in general. I believe the well accepted conclusion, also stated in this book, is that it cannot be proven that Jefferson father the Hemming's kids. I believe it is possible and maybe even probable.
This book does little to detract from the amazing things Mr. Jefferson gave this country. I agree that the slave holding portion of his life was wrong and causes me to be confused in what he said compared to what he did.
I guess the book was OK. The book was full of conjecture although not all. One thing that aggravates me is when they assume what the person was thinking and say things like, "he was probably thinking" in which the author has no proof to make such a statement.
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; First Edition edition (October 16, 2012)