#1346 In Search of America

#1346 In Search of America

"Mayor Pete of South Bend is saying that he would welcome certain erasures of Jefferson from our public discourse." — Clay S. Jenkinson

Clay has returned from his recent travels and his search for America, and he updates us on that trip. We answer listener mail, including responses to the recent show, #1344 Baked In.

#1343 Forty Books

#1343 Forty Books

"He's never happier than when he can recommend a course of reading to somebody else."

— Clay S. Jenkinson

President Jefferson tells us what books he might recommend to juvenile readers, and it turns out to be a fairly limited list. He does, however, recommend Don Quixote, Gulliver’s Travels and Robinson Crusoe.

Leadville, Adventure, and Gratitude

Leadville, Adventure, and Gratitude

How fortunate I am to have this life. There are many difficulties, and downsides. I won’t enumerate them. But the upside is amazing and purely good. I get to do things like this and call it work. I get to read for a living. I can turn my adventures into stories.

Traveling with Each of My Characters

Traveling with Each of My Characters

All hail Jefferson for the patience and persistence he showed in vindicating the American experiment, and letting Napoleon suggest the purchase as a way of solving some of his own pressing problems. Jefferson could not have done what I am doing. He was too civilized. I wonder how often he bathed? We know he had severe digestive problems. That had to be a mess in an age before toilets and ready hot water. You want to have robust pipes for a journey like this.

#1342 Dressing Down

#1342 Dressing Down

"He was drest, or rather undrest, with an old brown coat, red waistcoat, old corduroy small clothes, much soiled-woolen hose-and slippers without heels."

— William Plumer, 1802

This week we talk about Thomas Jefferson’s talent for political theater, and the ways he used this talent to reinforce the public perception of his firm beliefs in republicanism and guard against what he saw as a threat of monarchy in the young nation.

I Know the Path Well Enough

I Know the Path Well Enough

Sundays always remind me of my father Charles Everett Jenkinson. He has been dead for a quarter of a century now, but on Sundays I often miss him acutely. But he would never come on such a trip, not for all the money in the world. He thought camping was very silly: why jettison ten thousand years of improvements in comfort to sleep under a tree?

The Rig Under a Billion Stars

The Rig Under a Billion Stars

When I stepped out, all I saw was a billion stars above the pine trees. That alone made the trip satisfying. There are few sounds more satisfying than a breeze in pine trees. It is a different sound from breeze in cottonwoods. They thwattle and click, because the dance of the leaves makes them bump into each other.