How exactly would Thomas Jefferson react to finding himself suddenly living in the 2010s? Would he embrace modern technology and today's social changes, or would he be a complete fish out of water? The exploration of this theme definitely makes for an enjoyable book. It is intelligent and has more history thrown in than the average time travel book. Actually, this seems to be one part time travel book, one part history book, and one part ghost story. At first, I wasn't sure it could be categorized as a time travel book, but Thomas Jefferson's ghost takes on corporeal form and actually lives and breathes in a time not his own. So it technically counts as time travel.
Lest you think that the book be a little too serious for your tastes, I'll present you with a few choice quotes:"I saw Thomas Jefferson naked.""The bill came to more than $1,400. I consoled myself that it was a bargain for a meal with Thomas Jefferson.""You should be Gooogling, Mr. Carter, "Jefferson said. "I Google, but with a healthy skepticism."
And, gosh, those quotes pretty much sum up Thomas Jefferson's personality in the 2010s: an information-thirsty,lusty man with an appreciation and need for fine things and the need for a much deeper purse than that which an unemployed ex-president with no identification actually has.
Of course, I'm sure you're curious as to what Mr. Jefferson has on his iPod, aren't you? Luckily for you, there's a playlist for that
Trying to place Jefferson in the modern world and imagine his reaction to those things around him is certainly no easy task. I found myself wondering what his main issues would be and whether or not he would fit more into conservative or liberal politics of our day. While he was extremely liberal for his time, the author suggests that he'd have difficulty adjusting to the social liberalism of today, especially the rights of non-whites in America. According to today's standards, he's depicted as having difficulty being "politically correct" when it comes to discussing race. I could see that being true for anyone brought forward into our world from his. But I would want to imagine that he would be more quickly open minded than the average citizen time traveler from his world. And I could see that, as the author suggests, it may be a stretch for him to be able to immediately imagine that the inalienable rights of men pursuing happiness and liberty should also include their sexual rights.
It's interesting, though, that the more that you delve into the personal lives of some of our famous founding fathers, the more you realize that you'd only really rather meet them in theory rather than in actual practice. Some of the things that you love about them would probably be the very things that you would grow weary of in real life. (Benjamin Franklin, I'm looking at you, too.)
Anyhow, this is a fun novel to read and definitely worth the time ... despite its lack of Oxford Comma in the title. ;) Give it a read and then take yourself out for French food (hopefully without a dead president running your bill up to $1400).