"Negro President": Jefferson and the Slave Power

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In “Negro President” the Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Garry Wills explores a pivotal moment in American history through the lens of Thomas Jefferson and the now largely forgotten Timothy Pickering, and “prods readers to appreciate essential aspects of our distressed but well-intentioned representative democracy” (Chicago Tribune).

In 1800 Jefferson won the presidential election with Electoral College votes derived from the three-fifths representation of slaves — slaves who could not vote but were still partially counted as citizens. Moving beyond the recent revisionist debate over Jefferson’s own slaves and his relationship with Sally Hemings, Wills instead probes the heart of Jefferson’s presidency and political life, revealing how the might of the slave states remained a concern behind his most important policies and decisions.

In an eye-opening, ingeniously argued exposé, Wills restores Timothy Pickering and the Federalists’ dramatic struggle to our understanding of Jefferson, the creation of the new nation, and the evolution of our representative democracy.

“Garry Wills is a thinker of first rate. He combines the vigor of the social critic with the depth of the historian, and to these he adds the even rarer gifts of the philosopher.” — New Republic

“A thorough political analysis of another founding father’s involvement in slavery.” — San Francisco Chronicle

Garry Wills, a distinguished historian and critic, is the author of numerous books, including the Pulitzer Prize–winning Lincoln at Gettysburg, Saint Augustine, the best-selling Why I Am a Catholic, and Henry Adams and the Making of America.

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Garry Wills' "Negro President": Jefferson and the Slave Power, despite its title, is not a profile of the Jefferson Presidency. Rather, the book offers a richly detailed study of the United States' tragic constitutional bargain with slavery, and meanders through the lives of several key figures in antebellum American history along the way.

While Thomas Jefferson does play a significant role in Wills' book, the real heroes are the relatively unknown abolitionist Timothy Pickering and, to a lesser degree, John Quincy Adams. Pickering offered a consistent voice of opposition to Jefferson's often secret campaign against Federalist power. Though he could never match Jefferson's charismatic persona, Pickering succeeded in his battle to undo Jefferson's embargo of England--an embargo that Pickering recognized as Jefferson's attempt to undermine the economic prosperity and power of the North. Pickering's ill-fated attempt to secede from the Union, while misguided, would fuel the latter-day abolitionist John Quincy Adams to threaten a similar revolution as the Civil War loomed.

Ultimately, "Negro President" is a book that recovers slavery as a context for understanding early American political life. At times Willis focuses too much on Jefferson, Pickering, or Adams, and the discussion is derailed by his fascination for the moral successes and failures of each personality. Nevertheless, the book addresses a long-neglected subject in American studies and will prove invaluable to readers interested in understanding America's early struggle to balance Northern versus slave-state power. --Patrick O'Kelley

About the Author:

GARRY WILLS, a distinguished historian and critic, is the author of numerous books, including the Pulitzer Prize–winning Lincoln at Gettysburg, Saint Augustine, and the best-selling Why I Am a Catholic. A regular contributor to the New York Review of Books, he has won many awards, among them two National Book Critics Circle Awards and the 1998 National Medal for the Humanities. He is a history professor emeritus at Northwestern University.

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9780618343980: Negro President: Jefferson and the Slave Power

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ISBN 10:  0618343989 ISBN 13:  9780618343980
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9780786261192: Negro President: Jefferson and the Slave Power

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Book Description Mariner Books, United States, 2005. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. In Negro President" the Pulitzer Prizewinning historian Garry Wills explores a pivotal moment in American history through the lens of Thomas Jefferson and the now largely forgotten Timothy Pickering, and prods readers to appreciate essential aspects of our distressed but well-intentioned representative democracy" (Chicago Tribune). In 1800 Jefferson won the presidential election with Electoral College votes derived from the three-fifths representation of slaves slaves who could not vote but were still partially counted as citizens. Moving beyond the recent revisionist debate over Jeffersonís own slaves and his relationship with Sally Hemings, Wills instead probes the heart of Jeffersonís presidency and political life, revealing how the might of the slave states remained a concern behind his most important policies and decisions. In an eye-opening, ingeniously argued exposé, Wills restores Timothy Pickering and the Federalistsí dramatic struggle to our understanding of Jefferson, the creation of the new nation, and the evolution of our representative democracy. Garry Wills is a thinker of first rate. He combines the vigor of the social critic with the depth of the historian, and to these he adds the even rarer gifts of the philosopher." New Republic A thorough political analysis of another founding fatherís involvement in slavery." San Francisco Chronicle Garry Wills, a distinguished historian and critic, is the author of numerous books, including the Pulitzer Prizewinning Lincoln at Gettysburg, Saint Augustine, the best-selling Why I Am a Catholic, and Henry Adams and the Making of America. Seller Inventory # APC9780618485376

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Book Description Mariner Books, United States, 2005. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.In Negro President" the Pulitzer Prizewinning historian Garry Wills explores a pivotal moment in American history through the lens of Thomas Jefferson and the now largely forgotten Timothy Pickering, and prods readers to appreciate essential aspects of our distressed but well-intentioned representative democracy" (Chicago Tribune). In 1800 Jefferson won the presidential election with Electoral College votes derived from the three-fifths representation of slaves slaves who could not vote but were still partially counted as citizens. Moving beyond the recent revisionist debate over Jeffersonís own slaves and his relationship with Sally Hemings, Wills instead probes the heart of Jeffersonís presidency and political life, revealing how the might of the slave states remained a concern behind his most important policies and decisions. In an eye-opening, ingeniously argued exposé, Wills restores Timothy Pickering and the Federalistsí dramatic struggle to our understanding of Jefferson, the creation of the new nation, and the evolution of our representative democracy. Garry Wills is a thinker of first rate. He combines the vigor of the social critic with the depth of the historian, and to these he adds the even rarer gifts of the philosopher." New Republic A thorough political analysis of another founding fatherís involvement in slavery." San Francisco Chronicle Garry Wills, a distinguished historian and critic, is the author of numerous books, including the Pulitzer Prizewinning Lincoln at Gettysburg, Saint Augustine, the best-selling Why I Am a Catholic, and Henry Adams and the Making of America. Seller Inventory # APC9780618485376

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Book Description Mariner Books. Paperback. Condition: New. 274 pages. Dimensions: 7.7in. x 5.0in. x 0.8in.In Negro President the Pulitzer Prizewinning historian Garry Wills explores a pivotal moment in American history through the lens of Thomas Jefferson and the now largely forgotten Timothy Pickering, and prods readers to appreciate essential aspects of our distressed but well-intentioned representative democracy (Chicago Tribune). In 1800 Jefferson won the presidential election with Electoral College votes derived from the three-fifths representation of slaves slaves who could not vote but were still partially counted as citizens. Moving beyond the recent revisionist debate over Jeffersons own slaves and his relationship with Sally Hemings, Wills instead probes the heart of Jeffersons presidency and political life, revealing how the might of the slave states remained a concern behind his most important policies and decisions. In an eye-opening, ingeniously argued expos, Wills restores Timothy Pickering and the Federalists dramatic struggle to our understanding of Jefferson, the creation of the new nation, and the evolution of our representative democracy. Garry Wills is a thinker of first rate. He combines the vigor of the social critic with the depth of the historian, and to these he adds the even rarer gifts of the philosopher. New Republic A thorough political analysis of another founding fathers involvement in slavery. San Francisco ChronicleGarry Wills, a distinguished historian and critic, is the author of numerous books, including the Pulitzer Prizewinning Lincoln at Gettysburg, Saint Augustine, the best-selling Why I Am a Catholic, and Henry Adams and the Making of America. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780618485376

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