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First Friend: Thomas Jefferson: The Original…

First Friend: Thomas Jefferson: The Original Social Networker (Wakestone…

by Kathleen Reid

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Thomas Jefferson: First Friend, by Kathleen Reid at first seemed a rather slim and superficial look into the life and times of our third President, a giant of a man by any stretch of the imagination, and one deserving a far more detailed look into his person. However, the selections, while brief, cover many if not most of the man's life and character, even touching upon some of the unsavoury truths about his relationship with his former wife's step-sister. A less conscientious author might have omitted all mention.

In the end the very slimness of the volume is one of its virtues. Easy to pick up and set aside for a time, to the casual reader with a few minutes, the book can be opened to any page to find interesting things about an incredible man living an extraordinary life during a momentous era.
  Rood | Aug 26, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I really enjoyed this relatively fast read featuring a unique mix of historical facts about Thomas Jefferson and what his status updates and tweets might have been like, if Facebook and Twitter had existed two centuries ago. He was such a fascinating guy, and if any of our forefathers would have been online, it would have been Thomas. His keen interest in so many different subjects kept him busy and broke, but his positive impact on American history is undeniable.

As previous reviewers have mentioned I concur that this book would be best suited for older children and teens, but even as somewhat of an American history buff, I learned several new things about Mr. Jefferson. Since the book has the social network components, it could easily catch the attention of the youngsters among us. The more educated our next generation can be about the founders and their true purposes, contributions, and beliefs, the better our society will be in the future. ( )
  susanaudrey | Sep 23, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a quick read, created for those who aren't particularly interested in deep or dense histories, but rather an 18th century life told in 21st century terms. As other reviewers have noted, this is probably best suited for teens rather than adults. I wouldn't read it again and I didn't get anything out of it that I didn't already know, but for those who know little about Thomas Jefferson, this would be a quirkly entry into the life of an interesting and important man. ( )
  plumdog28 | Aug 7, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I admit that when I requested this book through the early-reviewers program, I thought it was about social media -- perhaps an analysis of the phenomenon of social networking through the lens of the life of our third president, akin to "Hamlet’s Blackberry." I was wrong.

What this is, is a young adult-directed biography of Jefferson, enhanced and perhaps made more “relevant” for modern readers by showing how Mr. Jefferson might have posted or tweeted about various events in his life. It’s not an epistolary novel (or its social-media equivalent) like "Who Moved my Blackberry" (and how dated all these references to Blackberries already seem!), thankfully. In fact, it’s a well-written and balanced biography that introduces readers to the subject gentleman without taking a strong political or social stance. Mr. Jefferson’s conflicted thoughts about slavery, particularly as reflected in his relationship with Sally Hemings, are handled well and without prurience.

There are a few spelling and grammatical errors another pass by an editor might have caught, plus a couple of arguable anachronisms (“United States Postal Service,” “Washington, District of Columbia”), though these latter may have been used simply because they’re recognizable to younger readers. Those are small things, though. Parents, teachers, and young readers looking for a good introduction to Jefferson and his accomplishments could do well with this volume. ( )
1 vote Cascadian | Jul 25, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I was hesitant to start this one, as i was afraid it would be bogged down with lols, jk, and things of that sort. Thankfully it was not. The book is a good introduction to one of the most important figures in American history. It is written in an easy to follow manner, that throws in the social networking concept(which does not become cumbersome), that helps break things up a bit without taking away from the story.

I had wanted to start reading more about American History , Jefferson in particular, and found this was a good place to start. ( )
  Melkor81205 | Jul 11, 2012 |
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This project has been an incredible journey for me as an author. I feel honored to have had the opportunity to research and study Thomas Jefferson's life. The more I learned about him, the more I wanted to know. He was an endlessly fascinating and complex man. As a storyteller, I wanted to make his iconic image more human, thus more approachable.

Many thanks to Carol and Frank Daniels III for their vision and leadership on this book. With great appreciation, I acknowledge the outstanding exchange of ideas and collaboration that made this all possible. A special thank you to Frank for his editing and meticulous suggestions

Finally, this book is dedicated to my wonderful family, Bagley, Ellie and Susanna who have always supported my passion for writing. I appreciate everything you do for me!
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