New from Simon & Schuster

The Mistletoe Promise by Richard Paul Evans
MONEY Master the Game by Tony Robbins
The Cinderella Murder by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke
As You Wish by Cary Elwes and Joe Layden
Revival by Stephen King
Dreamers and Deceivers by Glenn Beck
Jefferson's Demons

Jefferson's Demons

Portrait of a Restless Mind

"I have often wondered for what good end the sensations of Grief could be intended."

-- Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson suffered during his life from periodic bouts of dejection and despair, shadowed intervals during which he was full of "gloomy forebodings" about what lay ahead.

Not long before he composed the Declaration of Independence, the young Jefferson lay for six weeks in idleness and ill health at Monticello, paralyzed by a mysterious "malady." Similar lapses were to recur during anxious periods in his life, often accompanied by violent headaches. In Jefferson's Demons, Michael Knox Beran illuminates an optimistic man's darker side -- Jefferson as we have rarely seen him before.

The worst of these moments came after his wife died in 1782. But two years later, after being dispatched to Europe, Jefferson recovered nerve and spirit in the salons of Paris, where he fell in love with a beautiful young artist, Maria Cosway. When their affair ended, Jefferson's health again broke down. He set out for the palms and temples of southern Europe, and though he did not know where the therapeutic journey would take him or where it would end, his encounter with the old civilizations of the Mediterranean was transformative. The Greeks and Romans taught him that a man could make productive use of his demons.

Jefferson's immersion in the mystic truths of the Old World gave him insights into mysteries of life and art that Enlightenment philosophy had failed to supply. Beran skillfully shows how Jefferson drew on the esoteric lore he encountered to transform anxiety into action. On his return to America, Jefferson entered the most productive period of his life: He created a new political party, was elected president, and doubled the size of the country. His private labors were no less momentous...among them, the artistry of Monticello and the University of Virginia.

Jefferson's Demons is an elegantly composed account of the strangeness and originality of one Founder's genius. Michael Knox Beran uncovers the maps Jefferson used to find his way out of dejection and to forge a new democratic culture for America. Here is a Jefferson who, with all his failings, remains one of his country's greatest teachers and prophets.
Choose a format:
  • Free Press | 
  • 288 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416568254 | 
  • June 2007
Add to Cart
List Price $19.95
In Stock: Usually ships within 1 business day

More Books from this Author

In the space of a single decade, three leaders liberated tens of millions of souls, remade their own vast countries, and altered forever the forms of national power: Abraham Lincoln freed a subjugated race and transformed the American Republic. Tsar Alexander II broke the chains of the serfs and brought the rule of law to Russia. Otto von Bismarck threw over the petty Teutonic princes, defeated the House of Austria and the last of the imperial Napoleons, and united the German nation. The...
Read more about this book

About the Author

Explore

CONNECT WITH US

Get a FREE eBook
when you join our mailing list!