Combining firsthand scholarship and material drawn from the Jefferson Papers, Willard Sterne Randall calls on his skills as an investigative journalist to challenge long-held assumptions about the reasoning, motives, and works of this sage, philosopher, politician, and romantic. Exploring both Jefferson's interior and public struggles, Randall sheds important light on Jefferson's thoughts on slavery and his relationship with the slave Sally Hemmings, as well as Revolutionary and diplomatic intrigues.
Some serious editing could have been used in the book - I often found myself thinking, "Didn't I already read this quote?" or "Why is he telling me this again?" Perhaps with that editing, more time could have been spent on the presidential years. Also, the author is thoroughly anti-the Sally Hemings relationship, dismissing it out of hand. The book was written before DNA tests were done, but even so, Randall considered it ridiculous and barely mentions the possibility.
Overall, a good book about Jefferson although over-long and occasionally a bit of a slog.