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The Long Affair: Thomas Jefferson and the French Revolution, 1785-1800
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The Long Affair: Thomas Jefferson and the French Revolution, 1785-1800

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  14 ratings  ·  4 reviews
As controversial and explosive as it is elegant and learned, The Long Affair is Conor Cruise O'Brien's examination of Thomas Jefferson, as man and icon, through the critical lens of the French Revolution. O'Brien offers a provocative analysis of the supreme symbol of American history and political culture and challenges the traditional perceptions of both Jeffersonian hist ...more
Paperback, 386 pages
Published April 28th 1998 by University Of Chicago Press (first published 1996)
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I nearly gave this book 2 stars instead of 3. When O'Brien writes about Jefferson and his ideas, the book kept my interest and I enjoyed it. However the reader should be warned that in the central chapters, which take up most of the book, Jefferson barely gets a walk on part. These chapters are really a description of Franco-American relations during the French Revolution, covering events such as Benjamin Franklin's death, the United States edition of Tom Paine's Rights of Man and the Genet affa ...more

A Great but Flawed Man

Conor Cruise O'Brien has here given us an extremely interesting, if troubling, book on Jefferson's views on the French Revolution and slavery. In a nutshell, O'Brien has two charges against Jefferson to bring: first, he believes that Jefferson's support of the French Revolution was for the most part sincere, but convenient. Secondly, and most provocatively, O'Brien not only argues that our third president was a racist, not merely when judged by exacting late Twent
Ok... so honestly, the main reviewer's claim that this book would destroy the perceptions of T. Jefferson and America from within are a bit overblown. A good book if you want to think of Thomas as a man... just a man, that had to act though greatness was thrust upon him. You do that and you'll be just fine.
Jim Dilmore
This is a good one. It lacks the fanboy nature of many books on Jefferson and casts a stark light on some of Jefferson's more duplicitous political maneuverings.
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Irish politician, writer, historian and academic.

Member of the Irish Parliament for the socialist Labour Party.

Member of the Northern Ireland Forum for the United Kingdom Unionist Party, which advocated direct rule of Northern Ireland from London.

Virulently anti-IRA.
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