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Author of the Declaration of Independence and third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson is among the most important and controversial of American political thinkers. Joyce Appleby and Terence Ball have selected the most important of Jefferson's numerous writings, setting out his views on topics such as revolution, slavery and the role of women. The texts are supported by a concise introduction, suggestions for further reading and short biographies of key figures, all providing invaluable assistance to the student encountering Jefferson's thought for the first time.
Preface; Introduction; Chronology; Biographical synopses; A note on sources; Bibliographical note; 1. A private man in public life; 2. Natural law, natural right and revolution; 3. Self-government; 4. Moral sense, civic education and freedom of the press; 5. The Constitutions of Virginia and France; 6. The US Constitution; 7. Religious liberty and toleration; 8. Political parties; 9. Race and slavery; 10. Native Americans; 11. Women (not) in politics; 12. Law of Nations; 13. Innovation and progress; 14. Relations between generations; Appendices; Index.
Posted April 8, 2010
Great book to learn what Jefferson thought about a number of topics. There is his original draft of the Declaration of Independence where he rails against the slave trade. There is letters and other writings that are known and unknown. Instead of throwing around bits of letters and not knowing the full context, you will now be able to have a better understanding of what he meant.
One of Jefferson's most quoted bits about the tree of liberty needing to be refreshed with the blood of patriots and tyrants is in this book in its entirety. This is a great book to start to get to know one of our greatest founding fathers, in my opinion, and maybe get you to look at him in a more serious light. What did he think about education and involvement in public affairs? What about the accusation from some modern historians that he plagiarized the writings of other men when he wrote the Declaration of Independence? All you have to do is read a letter that he wrote later in his life on that subject. This will give you the ammunition that you need to defeat those who will try to discredit him and what he stood for, which is a very limited government where the stronger government would be the one closest to the people and the weakest would be the federal government.