Library of Congress

National Book Festival

Literary critic Jonathan Yardley called Henry Wiencek’s “Master of the Mountain” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux/Macmillan) “brilliant,” even as its author has been the subject of scathing criticism for his unflattering portrait of Thomas Jefferson. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Hemingses of Monticello,” Annette Gordon-Reed, said it “fails as a work of scholarship.” Wiencek told The New York Times that historians “are trying to discredit this. It presents an image they don’t like.” Wiencek depicts the third president as a cruel slaveholder who valued money much more than the principles he espoused as a founding father.

Previous National Book Festival Appearances

Henry Wiencek

Photo by Tom Cogill