Thomas Jefferson and American Nationhood

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Cambridge University Press, Jul 30, 2012 - History - 321 pages
This book emphasizes the centrality of nationhood to Thomas Jefferson's thought and politics, envisioning Jefferson as a cultural nationalist whose political project sought the alignment of the American state system with the will and character of the nation. Jefferson believed that America was the one nation on earth able to realize in practice universal ideals to which other peoples could only aspire. He appears in the book as the essential narrator of what he once called the "American Story": as the historian, the sociologist, and the ethnographer; the political theorist of the nation; the most successful practitioner of its politics; and its most enthusiastic champion. The book argues that reorienting Jefferson around the concept of American nationhood recovers an otherwise easily missed coherence to his political career and helps make sense of a number of conundrums in his thought and practice.
 

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Contents

Jeffersons America
1
American Story
11
American Woman
53
American Character
91
American Public
131
American State
187
American Union
237
Index
315
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About the author (2012)

Brian Steele is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. His work has appeared in the Journal of American History and the Journal of Southern History.

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