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Thomas Jefferson by Norman Risjord is a biography of the third president of the United States that takes Thomas Jefferson from his youth through his later years in the early 19th century The purpose of this book is to give a political and social overview of the Thomas Jeffersons life and career It was written for both the student of American history and the casual reader interested in the genesis of the United States government seen through the eyes of one of its founding fathersThe value of this book is that it shows that Jefferson was not a saint yet he was one of the most intelligent presidents that the country has ever had Risjord has given the book great value because he has framed Jefferson among his peers Consequently the book truly comes to life and the reader is able to learn about Jefferson as well as his contemporaries James Madison John Marshall and John AdamsThe scope of the book is all-inclusive Risjord begins with Jeffersons birth on April 13 1743 on his fathers plantation Shadwell in Goochland County on the western edgeThe narrative continues on to show Jefferson graduating from William and Mary College then entering politics in Virginians House of Burgesses in 1769 Jefferson married Martha Skelton on New Years Day 1772With the Virginia legislature from 1776 to 1779 Jefferson formed the groundwork for abolition of entail and primogeniture for the establishment of religious freedom and not for the public school systemJefferson was of course the author of the Declaration of Independence and because he had set this document in motion he waited out the Revolutionary War to see if the colonies would win If they had lost Jefferson would have been hanged for treason against the King of EnglandHe served as the minister to France from 1785 to 1789 At this time there was growing opposition to Alexander Hamilton and his policies and Jefferson associated himself with a group called the
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