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Thomas Jefferson: Genius of Liberty examines and copiously illustrates the largest assemblage of Jefferson documents from the rare and historically important holdings of the Library of Congress ever produced in one volume as well as other artifacts related to the life and legacy of one of the seminal figures in American history. A companion volume to the Library of Congress exhibition, this book seeks out the character, ideals, and motivations behind the founding achievements of this brilliant son of the Englightenment.
A lively narrative illuminated by Jefferson's own words, combined with contemporary commentary by prominent scholars, explores the life of a complex man whose views influenced every major political event in our country's early life. Weaving back and forth between Jefferson's public career--author of the Declaration of Independence, governor of Virginia, minister to France, secretary of state, the nation's third president, and finally founder of the University of Virginia--and his personal life at his beloved Monticello, Thomas Jefferson studies the conflicts among Jefferson's public ideals, the political realities he faced, and his private life. In touching upon such controversial topics as his liaison with slave Sally Hemings, this book offers no single view of Jefferson. We see a man who deplored inequality among men but who owned slaves; who sought to preserve Native American culture but who pushed for westward expansion; who supported freedom of the press until his own sexual misconduct and politics became its focus. We are left with a lasting image of a paradoxical statesman whose ideas and rhetoric continue to exert an unshakable hold on our national identity.
The insightful text is paired with 150 historically significant illustrations, almost all reproduced in full color, of items ranging from the first known draft of the Declaration of Independence to the travel writing desk he invented; from his 1769 ink sketch of the first plan for Monticello to scathing political cartoons; from a love letter to Maria Cosway to his design for his own tombstone. April 2000 marks the bicentennial of the Library and the occasion will be celebrated with a major exhibition of these letters, documents, books, drawings, paintings, and personal artifacts either written or owned by Thomas Jefferson or from his time.
It is only fitting that Jefferson be remembered on the two hundredth anniversary of the Library of Congress. Following a fire in 1814 that destroyed the Library's original collection, Thomas Jefferson offered and then sold to the Congress his personal collection of some 6,500 volumes in many languages on a wide range of topics. Jefferson believed that knowledge was the cornerstone of democracy and remarked that there was "no subject to which a member of Congress may not have occasion to refer."
Thomas Jefferson: Genius of Liberty provides us with a new perspective on the words and deeds of this icon of American culture.
|Product dimensions:||8.82(w) x 11.12(h) x 0.75(d)|
About the Author
Date of Birth:May 22, 1934
Place of Birth:Atlanta, GA
Education:St. Louis University, B.A., 1957; Xavier University, M.A., 1958; Yale University, Ph.D., 1961
Table of Contents
|Chapter 1||Self-Evident Truths||1|
|Chapter 2||The Passionate Idealist||31|
|Chapter 3||The Power of Opinion||63|
|Chapter 4||A Second Revolution||89|
|Chapter 5||Empire for Liberty||115|
|Chapter 6||The Race of Life||145|
|"Thomas Jefferson, 1776: Draftsman and Author"||23|
|"The Rich Fields of Nature"||57|
|"Thomas Jefferson and the Boundaries of American Civilization"||83|
|"Liberty to Learn"||138|
|"Why Jefferson Lives: A Meditation on the Man and the Myth"||164|