In the Trailblazer Biography series, an entry that proceeds chronologically, through the highlights of Jefferson's life, from his boyhood in Virginia, college days, family, views on slavery, the construction of Monticello, his reluctant participation in the new government, retirement, and death, with an summary of his legacy. Throughout, Ferris (What I Had Was Singing, 1994) focuses on Jefferson's writings and his fanatical organization. The text is seamless in the coverage of Jefferson's public life, and will hold interest; it is less effective when offering a glimpse of the man's private life, e.g., the deaths of his children are mentioned without a hint of how he may have been affected. As a result, he remains a statesman in this volume, rather than a fully realized person. The complexities and contradictions (that he kept slaves while attempting to eliminate slavery) are rationalized, but not convincingly. Despite these flaws, this biography will attract readers too young for John B. Severance's Thomas Jefferson (p. 1293).