American Sphinx by Joseph J. Ellis audiobook

American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson

By Joseph J. Ellis
Read by Susan O’Malley

Blackstone Publishing


Format: Retail CD (In Stock)
  • $32.95

    ISBN: 9781441717559

  • $118.00

    ISBN: 9781441717535

  • $29.95

    ISBN: 9781441717566

Runtime: 15.05 Hours
Category: Nonfiction/Political Science
Audience: Adult
Language: English



Winner of the 1997 National Book Award for Nonfiction

Winner of the 1998 Ambassador Book Award for Biography

A 1997 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist

For a man who insisted that life on the public stage was not what he had in mind, Thomas Jefferson certainly spent a great deal of time in the spotlight, even in his retirement. In his twilight years, Jefferson was already taking on the luster of a national icon, which was polished off by his auspicious death on July 4, 1826. In American Sphinx, Ellis sifts the facts from the legend to find the heart of the man who, at the grass roots, is no longer liberal or conservative, agrarian or industrialist, pro- or anti-slavery, privileged or populist. A man who sang incessantly under his breath; who spent ten hours a day during his presidency at his writing desk; and who sometimes found his political sensibilities colliding with his domestic agenda; who exhibited great depth and great shallowness, combined massive learning with extraordinary naïveté, and should neither be beatified nor forgotten.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Lively and provocative…first-rate.” David McCullough, New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize–winning historian
“[Ellis] is a remarkably clear writer, mercifully free of both the groveling and the spirit of attack that have dominated the subject in the past...American Sphinx is fresh and uncluttered but rich in historical context.” New York Times Book Review
“Erudite and illuminating…he writes so intelligently…that it’s impossible to read this book and not reconsider Jefferson’s role as a thinker, writer, and politician…An important and highly readable contribution.” New York Times
“This elegant book on Jefferson sets a standard—history at its best.” Chicago Tribune, editor’s choice
“Penetrating Jefferson’s placid, elegant façade, this extraordinary biography brings the Sage of Monticello down to earth without either condemning or idolizing him.” Publishers Weekly
“[A] serious, rigorous analysis [of] Jefferson’s importance and meaning to contemporary society. ” Booklist (starred review)
“Ellis does not have an agenda to promote; he has a story to tell, and he tells it well. In a book that reads like fiction, he combines exciting plot turns with information.” School Library Journal
“The richly documented life of Jeffersonholds endless fascination…This set should be a lasting favorite in popular biography collections, especially in the South. Warmly recommended.” Library Journal



You're reviewing: American Sphinx

How do you rate this product? *

1 1 star
2 2 star
3 3 star
4 4 star
5 5 star


Author Bio: Joseph J. Ellis

Author Bio: Joseph J. Ellis

Joseph J. Ellis is the Ford Foundation Professor of History at Mount Holyoke College. Educated at the College of William and Mary and Yale University, he served as a captain in the army and taught at West Point before coming to Mount Holyoke in 1972. He was dean of the faculty there for ten years. Among his previous books is Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams. He lives in Holyoke, Massachusetts, with his wife, Ellen, and three sons.

Titles by Author



Available Formats : Retail CD, Library CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Political Science
Runtime: 15.05
Audience: Adult
Language: English