London: Harper Press, An Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [Atlas Books], 2007. First Printing [Stated]. Hardcover. xiv, , 188,  pages. Inscribed on title page with reference to 'many thanks for his book help'. Christopher Eric Hitchens (13 April 1949 – 15 December 2011) was an Anglo-American author, columnist, essayist, orator, religious and literary critic, social critic, and journalist. He contributed to New Statesman, The Nation, The Atlantic, London Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, Slate, and Vanity Fair. Hitchens was the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of over 30 books, including five collections of essays, on a range of subjects, including politics, literature, and religion. Known for his contrarian stance on a number of issues, Hitchens criticized public figures as Mother Teresa, Bill Clinton, Henry Kissinger, and Diana, Princess of Wales. Hitchens was an ardent advocate for the separation of church and state; a self-described antitheist, he regarded the concept of a god or supreme being as a totalitarian belief that destroys individual freedom, and argued that free expression and scientific discovery should replace religion as a means of teaching ethics and defining human civilization. Thomas Jefferson: Author of America is a biography of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States (1801–09) and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), by author, journalist and literary critic Christopher Hitchens. It was released as a part of Harper Collins' Eminent Lives series of "biographies by distinguished authors on canonical figures." The book has been praised by critics. Ted Widmer of The New York Times wrote, "Hitchens brings a refreshing perspective to the task, both in that he has not written at length about the founding moment and in that he sees Jefferson from the perspective of a Briton, albeit an Americanized one." Publishers Weekly similarly described it as a "dense biography" and called it "a fascinating character study and an excellent review of early American history." Kirkus Reviews called it "a lucid, gently critical view of the great president and empire-builder and most literate of politicians." In this unique biography of Thomas Jefferson, leading journalist and social critic Christopher Hitchens offers a startlingly new and provocative interpretation of our Founding Father. Situating Jefferson within the context of America's evolution and tracing his legacy over the past two hundred years, Hitchens brings the character of Jefferson to life as a man of his time and also as a symbolic figure beyond it. Conflicted by power, Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and acted as Minister to France yet yearned for a quieter career in the Virginia legislature. An eloquent writer, he was an awkward public speaker; a reluctant candidate, he left an indelible presidential legacy. Jefferson's statesmanship enabled him to negotiate the Louisiana Purchase with France, doubling the size of the nation, and he authorized the Lewis and Clark expedition, opening up the American frontier for exploration and settlement. Hitchens also analyzes Jefferson's handling of the Barbary War, a lesser-known chapter of his political career, when his attempt to end the kidnapping and bribery of Americans by the Barbary states, and the subsequent war with Tripoli, led to the building of the U.S. navy and the fortification of America's reputation regarding national defense. This artful portrait of a formative figure and a turbulent era poses a challenge to anyone interested in American history -- or in the ambiguities of human nature. Condition: Very good / very good.
Keywords: Thomas Jefferson, American Revolution, Virginia, French Revolution, Secretary of State, Politicians, Founding Father, Ambassador, Slavery, Emancipation, Statesmen, War of Independence, Louisiana Purchase, Barbary Pirates, Lewis and Clark, Tripoli