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Jefferson's Demons: Portrait of a Restless Mind
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Jefferson's Demons: Portrait of a Restless Mind

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  40 ratings  ·  4 reviews
"I have often wondered for what good end the sensations of Grief could be intended." -- Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson suffered during his life from periodic bouts of dejection and despair, shadowed intervals during which he was full of "gloomy forebodings" about what lay ahead. Not long before he composed the Declaration of Independence, the young Jefferson lay for six...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published May 11th 2010 by Free Press (first published 2003)
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Julie (julie37619)
Ugh. The author tries really hard to make this academic and literary by including "big" words and fancy terms when others would work just as well. The word "ennui" is used about 8 bazillion times throughout the book. It's also a pet peeve of mine for an author to write as if he's using a thesaurus.

In just one example, Beran describes "sanguinary violence" when he very well could have said "bloody violence" or just "violence". When you're describing the French Revolution, we can pretty m...more
A short book without much to say. All the requisite research is in place to show that Jefferson was an introspective thinker with a melancholy streak. I already knew that from more interesting and comprehensive books. The areas covered in this book have all been done before, and in more detail: the Jefferson-Hamilton contrast, the book-collecting, the Sally Hemings scandal. Beyond simply boring, Beran doesn't connect any of these topics to his original thesis. This isn't a "portrait of a restles...more
An interesting insight into the anti-federalist movement and the birth of the two-party system from the perspective of Jefferson portrayed as a petulant drama queen. Who said presidents were boring?
Generally a very interesting read. However, by the end my personal ennui was his use of the term ennui!
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