THOMAS JEFFERSON; The Making of a President by John Dos Passos

THOMAS JEFFERSON; The Making of a President

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The impressive authorship suggests an impressive book -- but it isn't. The subtitle is particularly important, because this is not a complete biography and it ends before Jefferson's first term is over. His early involvement in Revolutionary activities and his work on the Declaration of Independence receive the best coverage. A successful effort has been made to reveal Jefferson's many-sided interest -- mechanics, art, architecture, agriculture, philosophy. Nevertheless, it is politic's that make President's and it is here that the book is weakest. There is no reasonable assessment of the political figures and parties of Jefferson's era. The unusual circumstances surrounding his election, the election issues, and the political sniping and ote trading engaged in with Hamilton are glossed over and crammed together at the end. Jefferson seems to be one of those figures who defy adequate coverage at the juvenile level.

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin