Christopher Hitchens’ portrayal of Thomas Jefferson is a different kind of biography. He presents a man of contradiction that is completely human. It’s not the kind of hero-worship that glances over the slavery, Native American lands conquest, rivalries, or mistakes; rather they are captured to develop an engaging complex character. If anything can be said on the side of hero-worship it would be that Hitchens revels in the brilliant American Enlightenment that Jefferson sparked and supported, his policies that forever changed the Nation, his ability to turn a phrase/paragraph, and especially in Jefferson’s love of women, agriculture, viticulture, and knowledge.
Hitchens is more of an essayist than novelist and the book’s chapters often read as such. Jumping from topic to topic but still reflecting on past events as informing the next. He doesn’t dwell on any one topic too long or over analyze. His authorial abilities clearly maintain solid story movement. As can be expected Christopher Hitchens weaves a thought provoking work that will edify and amuse.