- Even more on Henry Wiencek (see below), whose book, Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves, is now available. The New York Times (26-Nov-2012) gives background to the Wiencek book, which is not only a disagreement on attribution and facts, but also an ongoing conflict between university scholars and independent scholars.
Some Scholars Reject Dark Portrait of Jefferson
Virtually all modern accounts of the Revolution begin in 1763 with the Peace of Paris, the great treaty that concluded the Seven Years’ War. Opening the story there, however, makes the imperial events and conflicts that followed the war — the controversy over the Sugar Act and the Stamp Act crisis — into precursors of the Revolution. No matter how strenuous their other disagreements, most modern historians have looked at the years after 1763 not as contemporary Americans and Britons saw them — as a postwar era vexed by the unanticipated problems in relations between the colonies and metropolis — but as what we in retrospect know those years to have been, a pre-Revolutionary period. By sneaking glances, in effect, at what was coming next, historians robbed their accounts of contingency and suggested, less by design than by inadvertence, that the independence and nationhood of the United States were somehow inevitable.