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WSJ: Jefferson Was Slave Driver

A new biography of Thomas Jefferson biography will “change the way that we think about the author of the Declaration of Independence.” That’s what The Wall Street Journal concludes in its review of Master of the Mountain, hailing its detailed analysis of Jefferson’s estate records, which reveal a “coldblooded taskmaster” who “overworked his slaves as a matter of course.” Master of the Mountain reveals Jefferson’s crude racism—his “deep personal distaste for blacks,” as Wiencek suggests. Put frankly, he “moved the boundaries on his moral map to make the horrific tolerable to him,” Wiencek writes.

November 2, 2012 11:23 AM