History is filled with biographies that only show a certain side of a given personage, especially if they are still alive, in power, or have a strong constituency in the public. Muck raking was a later development.
From the muck, comes truth, and the beauty of the lotus blossom. It is no longer muck raking to show all sides of an individual. My thoughts on Jefferson are that he might have reached for the stars, but was all to human. He could not, or perhaps better said, would not give up his way of living, what we now call a lifestyle, so that his actions might accord with his words. He needed money, regularly, and slaves provided it.
The man was definitely not all he was cracked up to be, yet even saying that, he has inspired, especially prior to Mao’s Little Red Book, more people than any other revolutionary. His aims were not his life, but it is the life of his aims that he is remembered by, for the most part. Historians will dig deeper, as they do with all significant historical characters, and find they are not quite what they seemed at first. Am not willing to condemn a person for not being all they can, will be, and in Jefferson’s case, am saddened, that he did not try to be more, still, for me, his writings on Liberty, his answers to Hamilton, his mind for science, are worthy endeavors, even if he was not always worthy himself.
In all life, and lives, a balance must be sought, some do as much evil as Jefferson did, and produce nothing worthwhile in their wake, they deserve to be forgotten. He gave a voice to the will for Independence, that even today rings loud. Am not calling for a whitewashing, but a balance, that shows all, and lets the reader decide for themselves. That to me is the work of a historian.