My 10th grade History teacher was a huge admirer of Thomas Jefferson. He had a painting of him in his classroom, along with books, films, and other items that featured the third President of the United States. Most people know who Thomas Jefferson is. He was a key player in the writing of the Declaration of Independence; he is one of the most well known Founding Fathers of our nation; and his home, Monticello, is an architectural marvel.
But who was the real Thomas Jefferson? Many know the iconic figure that he’s become over the course of American history, but few truly know the man behind the Founding Father façade. This insightful documentary from the History Channel explores who Jefferson was and how his past decisions affected his future and our perceptions of him as a symbol of America.
Through the use of interviews with experts, historians, biographers, and others, Jefferson’s world comes alive and his true persona comes to the forefront. Was he a timid and shy man, or a loud and boisterous orator? Was he destined to become President, or did his interests lie elsewhere? Why did he never remarry after his wife passed away? Who was Sally Hemmings?
These questions and topics are explored in-depth over the course of the program, which pulls no punches and gives us the good, the bad, and the ugly about Thomas Jefferson’s life, his triumphs, his failures, and his life after the Presidency.
What I found interesting were the number of contradictions that filled Jefferson’s life. One example can be seen in his writing “All men are created equal” as part of the Declaration of Independence, yet he was a slave owner. These and many other contradictory aspects of this fascinating man’s life are explored in this documentary.
Sadly, there are no special features, but if you are a fan of American history, our Founding Fathers, or U.S. Presidents, this is an excellent and interesting program to watch. I highly recommend it.
Jefferson is available NOW on DVD!
Who’s your favorite Founding Father? Leave a comment and let us know!