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Confounding Father: Thomas Jefferson’s Image in His Own Time by Robert M. S. McDonald

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Confounding Father is an ambitious, impressively researched, and well-written study that shows how public perceptions of Jefferson were inextricably bound up with the young nation’s core values and controversies. A must-read for anyone seeking to understand the sweeping impact of Jefferson’s image on early national America and beyond.” – Joanne Freeman.  “Robert M. S. McDonald tackles the question of how the quiet Jefferson became such a divisive figure over the span of his public career.” – Journal of the American Revolution. “Robert McDonald’s fascinating study of Thomas Jefferson’s efforts to shape his image – and of the ways his fellow Americans saw him in his own time – brings [him] into sharp and illuminating focus. Confounding Father is a major contribution to the literature.” – Peter S. Onuf.  The author of this book, Robert McDonald, is a Professor of History at the United States Military Academy.

Charlottesville: The University of Virginia Press, a 2017 paperback reprint of a 2016 release. 311 pages with an Index, Notes, and Appendix. Trade paperback