David "Park" Nelson

What is the thesis of this book?

Mike That Jefferson was neither the unreasonable ideologue that his critics make him out to be nor the expounder of perfect ideals that some who would like to make him their standard bearer make him out to be. Meacham presents him as a largely decent but naturally flawed man of his age who indulged in enough philosophy to be drawn towards ideals but who was tethered to earth by a sense of political reality that included both a legitimately good-hearted desire to bring about good outcomes and a vain concern for his own reputation and material needs.

My take is that, while there's no way to write a perfect biography of Jefferson, the best part of this book is that it doesn't try to force Jefferson to conform to a single-clause thesis.
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