Cover image for Jefferson's demons portrait of a restless mind
Jefferson's demons portrait of a restless mind
Beran, Michael Knox.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Beverly Hills, Calif. : New Millennium, [2003]

Physical Description:
9 audio discs (approximately 600 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:

Compact discs.
Added Author:
Format :
Audiobook on CD


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E332.2 .B427 2003D Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
E332.2 .B427 2003D Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
E332.2 .B427 2003D Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks

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A fascinating new audiobook about Thomas Jefferson's lifelong struggle to overcome despair, "Jefferson's Demons" shows how complicated Jefferson's own efforts to pursue happiness were. Unabridged. 9 CDs.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Beran here explores Jefferson's attitudes and emotions toward life. The author's inherently elusive target, Jefferson's interior monologue, so to speak, begets an occasionally ethereal discourse deriving from a profound influence on Jefferson's outlook, neoclassicism. Its fixation on decay lodged deeply within Jefferson, changing over his stages of life but never absent from them. Beran examines most closely what Jefferson probably regarded as one of his most ecstatic experiences, a 1787 Grand Tour of Roman ruins in France and Italy, which he broke off before reaching Rome itself. Why? Perhaps he heeded the inner voices of a competing philosophy on living that Beran draws from his reading of Jefferson's letters, sentimentalism. Contemporaneously to the trip, it had poured out in his giddy letters to Maria Cosway, who was Jefferson's opposite (Catholic rather than skeptic; artistic rather than rational), which, Beran ventures, made her unwinnable. It's no surprise that Beran discovers a complicated Jefferson; the sophistication of his presentation will intrigue readers of ruminative bent. --Gilbert Taylor Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

While it's hard to imagine that the market needs yet another work on Thomas Jefferson, this thoughtful reflection on our third president's disposition and cast of mind merits company with the best recent works about the man. Beran gives us a Jefferson less rationalistic and intellectual than full of sentiment and tender emotions, a classic 18th-century example of "the man of feeling." Beran's Jefferson finds inspiration not in the philosophy of Locke or Newton but in poetry, beauty and scenery. Beran (The Last Patrician) is most at home with the inward-looking Jefferson, and the book slows when the author has to deal with Jefferson the public figure and politician. But its center of gravity (a quarter of the entire work) is Beran's splendid treatment of Jefferson's nine-month grand tour of Europe, 1786-1787. The author follows his subject through France and Italy, evokes the natural and historic landscape, and reports to great effect Jefferson's views of what he saw and how he felt. For all this, Beran strains credulity by making Jefferson out to be someone who invented himself. (Surely Ben Franklin is the model for that!) Yet the work's great value is to remind us that Jefferson was as much affected by mysteries of the unknown and fears for himself and mankind as he was the optimist who steered his bark "with Hope in the head, leaving Fear astern"-the Jefferson we're acquainted with. While this is not new knowledge, it's good to be reminded of it, and Beran has done that with style and success. (Oct. 7) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

A Note on Terms Prologue
Part 1 Spring
Part 2 Summer
Part 3 Fall
Part 4 Winter
Epilogue A Note on Designs
Notes and Sources