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New Books

I'm reading an interesting book right now:  American Canopy about the importance of trees in the development of the nation.

I also see that Henry Wiencek has finally released his Jefferson book.  I guess enough time has passed since the book on the Hemings family.


  1. There's a lengthy excerpt at the Smithsonian this month:

  2. If that excerpt is any indication, he does take him on!

  3. Wiencek is very well regarded, I'm sure he will provide a very interesting take on Jefferson.

  4. I saw American Canopy a few months ago in HBC I think and it looks interesting.Meant to order it so thanks.bosox

  5. I'm just starting but it's a fascinating look at how trees dominated from the earliest settlement of the continent through the desire for masts (overlapping with Roger Williams) but also in ship building generally and establishing the Atlantic trade routes of slaves, sugar, and ships.

    What's fun is that it's a very general history of the US using trees as the focus. I think it goes all the way up to post-WWII. Since I've been working with the Forest Service recently, this is doubly interesting.

  6. Yes, I am "finally" releasing my Jefferson book, "Master of the Mountain." It took so long because I discovered new information that wrecked the assumption I started with -- that Jefferson was a benevolent, enlightened slaveholder who was trapped in the institution. I had to toss out two years of writing and start over. The Smithsonian Magazine excerpt has some of this new material.

  7. I hope you will join us in our discussion of it! We had a great discussion of your book on Washington.

  8. Thank you so much for dropping in on this forum. We started it up three years ago in an effort to bring back together a reading group from the old NYTimes forums, which avrds notes this particular reading. We would love to discuss your new book on Jefferson in here.

    The whole Barton thing has renewed attention in Jefferson, which I suppose is the only good thing one can say about his book. I've been following Warren Throckmorton's blog on the subject.

    I've long had an interest in Jefferson, mostly from the point of view of planning and architecture. I really enjoyed McLaughlin's book on Jefferson and Monticello from a few years back.

  9. I see you have competition this fall,

  10. I'll see if I can get this one too.


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