Basic Books, 2006
There is certainly no shortage of books on Thomas Jefferson, but Andrew Burstein’s latest effort attempts to view the man from an angle few others have tried. Rereading both familiar and less well-known sources, Burstein argues that our knowledge of Jefferson is incomplete without an extended study of his retirement years. He is particularly keen for the reader to grasp the conditions that shaped Jefferson’s thinking, or, as Burstein puts it, to understand the unfamiliar that was familiar to Jefferson. This emphasis results in thought-provoking ruminations on death, sexuality, history, religion, and politics.