The Lost World of Thomas Jefferson / Edition 2

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In this classic work by one of America's most distinguished historians, Daniel Boorstin enters into Thomas Jefferson's world of ideas. By analysing writings of 'the Jeffersonian Circle,' Boorstin explores concepts of God, nature, equality, toleration, education and government in order to illuminate their underlying world view. The Lost World of Thomas Jefferson demonstrates why on the 250th anniversary of his birth, this American leader's message has remained relevant to our national crises and grand concerns.

"The volume is too subtle, too rich in ideas for anyone to do justice to it in brief summary, too heavily documented and too carefully wrought for anyone to dismiss its thesis. . . . It is a major contribution not only to Jefferson studies but to American intellectual history. . . . All who work in the history of ideas will find themselves in Mr. Boorstin's debt."—Richard Hofstadter, South Atlantic Monthly

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Editorial Reviews

Reprint of the work originally published by H. Holt in 1948 with a new (2 p.) preface. Printed on acid-free paper. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Merrill D. Peterson
With courage and skill, Daniel Boorstin has attempted to fit Jeffersonian ideas and purposes into a systematic philosophy…The Lost World of Thomas Jefferson defines the key problems of Jefferson scholarship for many years to come.
The New England Quarterly
Richard Hofstadter
The Lost World of Thomas Jefferson is not an account of Jeffersonian political philosophy, but of something which has received less attention: the view of the world which underlay it and which has survived to condition a great many other aspects of American life and thought….The volume is too subtle, too rich in ideas for anyone to do justice to it in a brief summary….It is a major contribution not only to Jefferson studies but to American intellectual history and…it may necessitate a very considerable revision of conceptions of our intellectual heritage. [This is] the product of an original and distinguished mind, which moves through its material with poise and assurance….All who work in the history of ideas will find themselves deeply in Mr. Boorstin's debt.
South Atlantic Monthly
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226064970
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/1993
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface to the 1993 Edition
Introduction 1
1 'The Influence of America on the Mind' 3
2 The Jeffersonian Circle 8
Ch. 1 The Supreme Workman 27
1 Nature as the Work of Art 30
2 The Economy of Nature 41
3 The Apotheosis of Nature 54
Ch. 2 The Equality of the Human Species 57
1 The Adaptability of Man 61
2 The Dispersion of the Human Species 68
3 Varieties of Mankind: the Indian and the Negro 81
4 The Fulfillment of Human Equality 98
Ch. 3 The Physiology of Thought and Morals 109
1 'The Mode of Action Called Thinking' 112
2 The Happy Variety of Minds 119
3 The Perils of Metaphysics 128
4 The Moral Sense and the Life of Action 140
5 Jeffersonian Christianity 151
Ch. 4 The Natural History of a New Society 167
1 Natural History and Political Science 171
2 The Use of Government 186
3 A Philosophy of Rights 194
4 The Sovereignty of the Present Generation 204
5 The Quest for Useful Knowledge 213
6 The American Destiny 225
Conclusion 235
1 The Promise of Jeffersonian Thought 237
2 The God of the Republic 243
Notes 249
Index 295
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