FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - November 7, 2012
Lisa Stites, Monticello: Lisa Stites, 434-984-7529
Maria Braeckel, Publicity Manager, Random House / Spiegel & Grau / The Dial Press: (212) 572-2721
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.—Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham launches his newest book Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power from Monticello, November 11, 2012.
In Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, Meacham brings to life the complete man, from birth to his last days—through the Revolutionary War and his years as President. Readers will see the Founding Father who wrote the Declaration of Independence, steered the states to nationhood, and as a master politician and President, doubled the size of the country through the Louisiana Purchase. Meacham’s powerful narrative guides readers through the life and extraordinary times of a man often admired but, before now, never truly understood in all his complexity.
Meacham conducted research for his book at Monticello and the Jefferson Library at the Robert H. Smith International Center of Jefferson Studies at Monticello. He returns to launch Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power at the Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center during a ticketed event: An Evening Conversation with Jon Meacham, author of Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, 4 p.m., Sunday, November 11.
“Scholarship like Meacham’s is important to enhancing our understanding of our nation’s founding and to share information on the life, times and legacy of Thomas Jefferson with a wide audience,” said Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy, Director of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello. “Resources at the Jefferson Library have contributed to more than 350 publications and we were pleased to welcome Jon Meacham to the Jefferson Library to conduct research on his latest book. I hope that this book may do for Jefferson what David Mccullough did for John Adams and reacquaint a new generation in America with Jefferson.”
Meacham is an executive editor at Random House. He is a former co-anchor of the public-affairs broadcast “Need to Know on PBS” and former editor of Newsweek.
Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, is to be published by Random House on November 13, 2012. His book, American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, was published by Random House on November 11, 2008 and debuted at #2 on The New York Times bestseller list. On April 20, 2009, American Lion was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Meacham is also the author of two other New York Times bestsellers — American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation and Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship, about the wartime relationship between Roosevelt and Churchill. Named a book of the year by The Los Angeles Times, it won The Churchill Centre’s 2005 Emery Reves Award for the best book of the year on Winston Churchill (previous winners include Roy Jenkins, Sir Martin Gilbert, and William Manchester) and the William H. Colby Military Writers’ Symposium’s Book of the Year Award.
In 2009, Meacham was elected to the Society of American Historians. He serves on the Board of Trustees of The Churchill Centre, the National Advisory Council of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion & Politics at Washington University in St. Louis, and on the Advisory Committee of the Center for the Constitution at James Madison’s Montpelier.
Meacham has written for The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, Slate, and The Los Angeles Times Book Review. In 2001, he edited Voices in Our Blood: America’s Best on the Civil Rights Movement (Random House), a collection of distinguished nonfiction about the midcentury struggle against Jim Crow. He has served as a judge for the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award and was awarded the Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Medal by the Anti-Defamation League.
Born in Chattanooga in 1969, Meacham was educated at St. Nicholas School, The McCallie School, and graduated from The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, with a degree summa cum laude in English Literature; he was salutatorian and elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Meacham is a communicant of St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, where he has served on the Vestry of the 180 year-old Episcopal parish. He is a former member of the Board of Trustees and of the Board of Regents of The University of the South. Meacham currently serves on the Vestry of Trinity Church Wall Street and the Leadership Council of the Harvard Divinity School. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, he received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University in 2005 and also holds five other honorary doctorates.
He lives in New York City with his wife and children.
Thomas Jefferson Foundation was incorporated in 1923 to preserve Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson in Charlottesville, Virginia. Monticello is now recognized as a National Historic Landmark and a United Nations World Heritage Site. As a private, nonprofit organization, the Foundation receives no regular federal or state budget support for its twofold mission of preservation and education. About 450,000 people visit Monticello each year. For information, visit www.monticello.org.
Advance Praise for Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power
“Jon Meacham understands Thomas Jefferson. With thorough and up-to-date research, elegant writing, deep insight, and an open mind, he brings Jefferson, the most talented politician of his generation—and one of the most talented in our nation’s history—into full view. It is no small task to capture so capacious a life in one volume. Meacham has succeeded, giving us a rich presentation of our third president’s life and times. This is an extraordinary work.”—Annette Gordon-Reed, author of The Hemingses of Monticello
“This terrific book allows us to see the political genius of Thomas Jefferson better than we have ever seen it before. In these endlessly fascinating pages, Jefferson emerges with such vitality that it seems as if he might still be alive today.”
—Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of Team of Rivals
“Jon Meacham resolves the bundle of contradictions that was Thomas Jefferson by probing his love of progress and thirst for power. Here was a man endlessly, artfully intent on making the world something it had not been before. A thrilling and affecting portrait of our first philosopher-politician.”
–Stacy Schiff, author of Cleopatra: A Life
"A true triumph. In addition to being a brilliant biography, this book is a guide to the use of power. Jon Meacham shows how Jefferson's deft ability to compromise and improvise made him a transformational leader. We think of Jefferson as the embodiment of noble ideals, as he was, but Meacham shows that he was a practical politician more than a moral theorist. The result is a fascinating look at how Jefferson wielded his driving desire for power and control."
—Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs
"This is probably the best single-volume biography of Jefferson ever written; it is certainly the most readable."
—Gordon Wood, author of The Radicalism of the American Revolution