Thomas Jefferson: Draftsman of a Nation, by Natalie Bober, was for me a truly inspirational American history story. Knowing how we both like Bober’s writing, my daughter sent me her copy of this book and urged me to take whatever time I needed since I had a number of other books I wanted to finish.
This is Bober’s second book on Thomas Jefferson. An earlier biography, Thomas Jefferson: Man on a Mountain, was first published in 1988. I’ve never parted with my copy of that book. In her acknowledgments in this newly updated biography, Bober wrote,
“Revisiting the life of someone you thought you understood more than twenty years ago to search for new material and consider different interpretations of the old can be a daunting task. It requires the help of extraordinary mentors to aid in the journey back to times and places already visited, to open new doors, and to help you view those aspects of the life through a different lens. I am blessed to have had that guidance.” The new information about him that has come to light in more recent years created the need for her to write a more complete story.”
When I closed her new book this morning I found myself in tears. I appreciated, as never before, the tremendous contributions Jefferson made to our country. As a very honest historian, Bober does not avoid the inconsistencies in his life, but she made me appreciate what his intelligence and his beautiful words of wisdom mean to us today. I will replace my daughter’s book, but I cannot give it up.