Historian Jon Kukla, a native of Wisconsin, accepted his B.A. from Carthage College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. He directed historical research and publishing at the Library of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia, from 1973 through 1990, edited Virginia Cavalcade for a few years, and dabbled in documentary editing, historic preservation, archaeology, and public history. Kukla spent the next decade in the French Quarter, adding museum exhibits, historic building renovation, and some television to his bag of tricks as curator of collections and director of the Historic New Orleans Collection from 1990 to 1998. He returned to the Old Dominion in 2000 as director of the Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation in Charlotte County, a position he held until 2007. Kukla now resides in Richmond, where he is expanding the scope of research about Jefferson and women for a book tentatively titled Sex and the Founding Fathers.
From the acclaimed author of "A Wilderness So Immense "comes a pioneering study of Thomas Jefferson's relationships with women, both personal and political. The author of the Declaration of Independence, who wrote the words "all men are created equal," was surprisingly uncomfortable with woman. In eight chapters, Kukla examines the evidence for the founding father's youthful misogyny, beginning with his awkward courtship of Rebecca Burwell, who declined Jefferson's marriage proposal, and his unwelcome advances toward the wife of a boyhood friend. Subsequent chapters describe his decade-long marriage to Martha Wayles Skelton, his flirtation with Maria Cosway, and the still controversial relationship with Sally Hemings. A riveting study of a complex man, "Mr. Jefferson's Women "is sure to spark debate.