This week, we discuss listener questions about architecture, Sally Hemings, revolutionary war, Jefferson as a scientist, recommended books and how Clay's life has been affected by performing as Thomas Jefferson.
"What I discovered was that Jefferson embodies — in many respects, not in all of them — the world that I want to live in. I want to live in Thomas Jefferson's America. I want to live in a rational country, a country that prizes books and the liberal arts. I want to live in a country that believes that science is our guide; he called it our oracle. I want to live in a country that attempts at social equality and extending due process and the rights of man to every living human and maybe beyond the limits of humanity. I want to live in a world in which harmony and civility are the principles of our public life, rather than rancor and shaking of fists and mean-spirited talking points and innuendo and character assassination. I love the agrarian — Jefferson's view that a human with his hands in the soil is almost automatically a better human than somebody whose hands are not in the soil. I love the Lewis & Clark expedition. So, in almost every respect, becoming acquainted with Jefferson and eventually, I hope, mastering him, has made my life much, much, much more than it otherwise would have been."
— Clay, responding to a question from listener Ryan McKenzie
- The Portable Thomas Jefferson edited by Merrill D. Peterson
- Thomas Jefferson and the New Nation: A Biography by Merrill D. Peterson
- American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson by Joseph J. Ellis
- Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams by Joseph J. Ellis
- The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family by Annette Gordon-Reed
- The Thomas Jefferson Papers at the Library of Congress
- Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
- Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari
- NPR: Behind The Founding Foodie, A French-Trained Chef Bound By Slavery, about James Hemings
Start planning. A total eclipse of the sun will occur on Monday, August 21, 2017. These things don’t happen very often—a few occurrences in a lifetime and not always where you can observe it without helicopters and speed boats.
Read this week's Jefferson Watch essay, "Countdown to the Eclipse".