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First Friend: Thomas Jefferson: The Original Social Networker (Wakestone Legacy)

1 rating: 3.0
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Kathleen Reid is a freelance writer who lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and two teenage daughters. A history major at Mount Holyoke College, she has always had a passion for learning about world leaders past and present. After years in corporate … see full wiki

1 review about First Friend: Thomas Jefferson: The Original...

Clever introduction making use of modern tools

  • Jul 25, 2012
  • by
I admit that when I first saw this book, 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: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age. 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.

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