YOUNG MAN FROM THE PIEDMONT: The Youth of Thomas Jefferson by Leonard Wibberley

YOUNG MAN FROM THE PIEDMONT: The Youth of Thomas Jefferson

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is the first volume in a projected trilogy on Thomas Jefferson-- his life and times-- which brings us as far as the Declaration of Independence. The author calls this ""non fiction fiction"" and leaves his librarian friends to figure that one out. His major purpose has been to bring Jefferson's social/political milieu to life as well as Jefferson himself. He has invented no facts nor incidents, but he has invented dialogue. Mr. Wibberley has set himself no easy task. His subject, although a prime mover in exciting political events, was a cerebral/sedentary type who engaged in vocal rather than physical activity. This is no easier to get no paper than it is to breathe life into times past. Since Jefferson's colleagues were prominent too, the invented dialogue often has a declamatory self-consciousness. (Even on paper, dead politicians refuse to play second fiddle.) This approach shifts the spotlight around as Jefferson deals with scene stealers like Patrick Henry, Dabney Carr and others. As a biography of the whole man affecting and affected by his times, this is a brave but not entirely successful effort and our final opinion will be rendered in these pages when the next two volumes are in.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1963
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Co.