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Thomas Jefferson : Writings : Autobiography / Notes on the State of Virginia / Public and Private Papers / Addresses / Letters (Library of America) Hardcover – August 15, 1984
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Thomas Jefferson was one of the most remarkable men this country or any country has ever produced. All you need do is sample these writings and you will begin to understand the powers of his mind, the charisma he manifested, the range of his interests, and the paradoxical foibles as well. The writings included here are his autobiography, his Notes on Virginia, all kinds of essays, letters, speeches, and selected other papers.
He writes of philosophy, English prosody, natural history, political observations, the history of the Founding, theological beliefs, and many other topics. Both of his inaugural addresses are included as well has his notices to Congress (what we now call State of the Union Addresses used to be handled in a letter). There are also letters to Indian tribes that are quite interesting.
The idea that the Indian tribes would want to remain as they were seemed a mistaken to notion to Jefferson and his contemporaries. They needed to understand that realities of their world had changed forever and they had great opportunities for improving their lives (as he saw it). Their rejection of overtures to assimilate seemed evidence of an imprisoned mind rather than what we would call a "lifestyle choice".
This is another of the great volumes from the Library of America. It includes a chronology of Jefferson's life, great notes on the texts included, and an index.
Something you really should have on your shelf of American History and our Founding.
First, Jefferson was a GREAT stylist. He's a delight to read.
Second, in his little Autobiography he shows the Declaration of Independence as he originally wrote it, shows the additions, the major deletions, and the finished product. I was amazed at how he was furious with England for enslaving Africans. The king, says Jefferson's original, "has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere...." And even more in that vein. Unfortunately, Congress deleted all that.
Third, his detailed "Notes on the State of Virginia" (good reading) display something of the broad range of Jefferson's interests, and the depth of his knowledge. They also give strong hints as to why he sent out Lewis and Clark -- and had them well prepared -- as well as Zebulon Pike and, on the Red River, Freeman. I recommend that immediately after reading the Notes, turn to J's 1803 letter of instruction to Merriwether Lewis. It's just an amazing piece of work: less than seven pages of the book -- and Jefferson planned the whole Lewis and Clark expedition BEFORE he had acquired the Louisiana territory.
Fourth, I got a charge out of the variety of the matters he dealt with when he was President.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Came on time, readable ... What more can you ask for in a book?!Published 23 days ago by Kayla Jeanie
The book itself: 5/5, what a great one-stop-shop for original source writings, printed and organized beautifully. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Dallas Smith
If you like history, unedited and without today's agendas then this book or anything from library of America is for you. Read morePublished 2 months ago by not76
Without a doubt the most comprehensive and affordable one volume work of Jefferson's I've come across.Published 9 months ago by Bookreview79