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Sat Dec 1, 2012, 04:39 PM

The Real Thomas Jefferson

Yikes. Not much hagiography here.

The Monster of Monticello

By PAUL FINKELMAN
Published: November 30, 2012

Durham, N.C.

THOMAS JEFFERSON is in the news again, nearly 200 years after his death — alongside a high-profile biography by the journalist Jon Meacham comes a damning portrait of the third president by the independent scholar Henry Wiencek.

We are endlessly fascinated with Jefferson, in part because we seem unable to reconcile the rhetoric of liberty in his writing with the reality of his slave owning and his lifetime support for slavery. Time and again, we play down the latter in favor of the former, or write off the paradox as somehow indicative of his complex depths.

Neither Mr. Meacham, who mostly ignores Jefferson’s slave ownership, nor Mr. Wiencek, who sees him as a sort of fallen angel who comes to slavery only after discovering how profitable it could be, seem willing to confront the ugly truth: the third president was a creepy, brutal hypocrite.

Contrary to Mr. Wiencek’s depiction, Jefferson was always deeply committed to slavery, and even more deeply hostile to the welfare of blacks, slave or free. His proslavery views were shaped not only by money and status but also by his deeply racist views, which he tried to justify through pseudoscience.

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mahatmakanejeeves Dec 2012 OP
atreides1 Dec 2012 #1
tama Dec 2012 #2

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 04:46 PM

1. Like the 'Portrait of Dorian Grey'

How he appears in history is just the surface...what lies beneath is so much more disturbing.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 05:26 PM

2. Assassins Creed III

 

The newest Assassin Creed - those games are well studied history lessons - is situated in American Revolution and while the Iroquais main character is fighting mostly on the Patriot side, the game is also very critical of the the patriots.

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