#1339 Questions and Answers

#1339 Questions and Answers

"Those forty books made a difference in his life, because he grew up in a house where there were books and book culture."

— Clay S. Jenkinson

This week on The Thomas Jefferson Hour, we answer listener questions including a query from a listener in Ireland asking about Jefferson’s thoughts on the Irish rebellion and constitution, Jefferson’s involvement in providing alcohol to troops, suggestions for a Jefferson library for children, and Jefferson’s advice for Americans traveling in Europe.

#1338 Notes on the State of Virginia

#1338 Notes on the State of Virginia

"But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."

— Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia

We discuss Jefferson’s only published book, Notes on the State of Virginia. Jefferson completed his first draft of the book in 1781 and first published it anonymously in Paris in 1785. It is widely considered the most important American book published before 1800.

What If Jefferson Had Not Gone to France?

What If Jefferson Had Not Gone to France?

What if he had never left the United States? How would things have been different? Jefferson had turned down two previous high-level government invitations to take up a diplomatic post in Paris. He finally made the journey in July 1784 because his wife Martha was dead, because he was still reeling from his frustrating and unsuccessful tenure as the wartime Governor of Virginia, and of course he wanted to see the Old World, especially France.

#1337 The Vaunted Scene

#1337 The Vaunted Scene

“Behold me at length on the vaunted scene of Europe! […] I find the general fate of humanity here, most deplorable. The truth of Voltaire's observation, offers itself perpetually, that every man here must be either the hammer or the anvil.”

— Thomas Jefferson, 1785

We speak with President Jefferson about his time spent in France.

#1336 Brodowski and Wright

#1336 Brodowski and Wright

"It's such a gift. Every day."

— Pat Brodowski

We speak with two of our favorite Jefferson Hour correspondents: Pat Brodowski, the head gardener at Monticello, and Beau Wright, a frequent contributor to the show and a city council member of Lynchburg, VA.

#1335 The Mustard Seed

#1335 The Mustard Seed

"You feel the wonderment of nature at its finest … it's a deep, deep, deep cultural memory of the miracle of the seed."

— Clay S. Jenkinson

We answer listener mail about John Wesley Powell, David Thompson, Daniel Flores, Jefferson’s theft of upland rice while he was in Italy, and suggestions for educating young people.

#1334 Benjamin Rush with Stephen Fried

#1334 Benjamin Rush with Stephen Fried

"He and Jefferson talked about everything."

— Stephen Fried

Benjamin Rush was a physician, politician, social reformer, humanitarian, educator, and a signer of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Rush was a leader of the American Enlightenment and an enthusiastic supporter of the American Revolution. Born the son of a Philadelphia blacksmith, Rush touched virtually every page in the story of the nation’s founding. It was Rush who was responsible for the late-in-life reconciliation between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. This week we speak with the author Stephen Fried about his new book, Rush: Revolution, Madness, and Benjamin Rush, the Visionary Doctor Who Became a Founding Father.

#1333 The Constitution Today

#1333 The Constitution Today

"I don't think, from my point of view, you can think that the Constitution is sacred."

— Clay S. Jenkinson

We discuss Akhil Reed Amar's The Constitution Today, a selection for the Book Club, which contains essays written by Amar over the past two decades. Amar gives us a road map for thinking constitutionally about today’s America.