New Release: In Pursuit of Jefferson
I love history. I have since I was a kid. I'm the guy popping up with the weird historical reference or story when people talk about things. I find them interesting; those I'm talking with? Well...
So when I was asked to audition for a book about Thomas Jefferson, I was excited. I've read a lot about other historical figures, but for whatever reason hadn't read much about Jefferson. I knew he wrote the Declaration of Independence, I knew he was President, and I knew he owned slaves (which was a huge contradiction for the man who wrote "all men are created equal").
So I was thrilled when I got the notification that I'd been chosen.
This book was quite interesting. It's as much about the author's journey of discovery as it is about Jefferson, and it does a great job of profiling the man and his accomplishments, while still showing how deeply flawed he was (the author says he was ready to stop the project when he saw the enormity of the pain and trauma Jefferson inflicted on his slaves). It uses a unique text Jefferson wrote as a starting off point to explore the man and his time.
Here's the write up.
A controversial founding father. A man ready for a change. And a completely unique trip through Europe.
In 1784, Thomas Jefferson was a broken man. Reeling from the loss of his wife and stung from a political scandal during the Revolutionary war, he needed to remake himself. Wandering through Europe, Jefferson saw and learned as much as he could, ultimately bringing his knowledge home to a young America. There, he would rise to power and shape a nation.
More than two hundred years later, Derek Baxter, a devotee of American history, stumbles on an obscure travel guide written by Jefferson—Hints for Americans Traveling Through Europe—as he's going through his own personal crisis. Who better to offer advice than a founding father himself? But what Baxter learns isn't always what Jefferson had in mind, and as he comes to understand Jefferson better, he doesn't always like what he finds.
In Pursuit of Jefferson is at once the story of a life-changing trip through Europe, an unflinching look at a founding father, and a moving personal journey. With rich historical detail, a sense of humor, and boundless heart, Baxter explores how we can be better moving forward only by first looking back.
So, if you like history and are interested in Jefferson, check it out! It can be found on Audible, or wherever audiobooks are sold.
Listen to a clip!