From The Wilson Quarterly, the brief history of a historical novel: Thomas Jefferson was an enigma to everyone he met; a century and a half after his death, one writer strives to understand, if not the man himself, then at least the world as it knew him. A review of The Great Upheaval: America and the Birth of the Modern World, 1788-1800 by Jay Winik (and more). A review of American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies at the Founding of the Republic by Joseph J. Ellis. A review of Sheppard Lee, Written by Himself by Robert Montgomery Bird and A Nation of Counterfeiters: Capitalists, Con Men, and the Making of the United States by Stephen Mihm.