Thomas Jefferson

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Rowman & Littlefield, Jan 1, 1994 - Biography & Autobiography - 210 pages
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Perhaps the most hotly debated character in American history, Thomas Jefferson stands as an enigma representing different and of ten contradictory ideas. That one man, for example, could author the Declaration of Independence and simultaneously own slaves or that he could recoil at the expansion of the federal government but later double the size of the country in a pen stroke has caused historians to question the true meaning of Jefferson's contribution to America's founding. This brief sketch of Jefferson answers many of the apparent contradictions of his fruitful life. Specifically, the author finds continuity in Jefferson's evolving philosophy of political economy. Because Jefferson was not a man intellectually tied to any single ideology, he was fully capable of embracing competing "persuasions" that seem to us today incompatible. The author shows how Jefferson's rhetoric was more a matter of time and circumstance than an element of absolute belief and demonstrates that Jefferson was not only a facile thinker but also a consummate politician.
 

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Contents

Disciple of the Enlightenment
3
Catalyst for Reform
26
Peace and a Foreign Tour
48
Birth of the Republican Party
73
Reign of Witches
101
The President as Liberal
123
The President as Nationalist
151
Twilight
173
Suggested Reading
197
Index
201
Copyright

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About the author (1994)

Norman K. Risjord is emeritus professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he taught for over three decades. He is author of Chesapeake Politics, 1781-1800; The Old Republicans: Southern Conservatism in the Age of Jefferson; Representative Americans; and Jefferson's America, 1760-1815. Professor Risjord has also written several widely-adopted college and high school history textbooks. He is the general editor of the American Profiles series for Madison House.

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