Episode

#1316 James Madison (Part Two)

#1316 James Madison (Part Two)

"to the press alone, checkered as it is with abuses, the world is indebted for all the triumphs which have been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression."

— James Madison

We discuss James Madison again this week, President Jefferson's good friend and ally. The question is, what is America? Is it a compact of sovereign states? Or is it as a nation state whose constitution begins with the words, "We the People"?

#1314 Our Friend Beau

#1314 Our Friend Beau

"Whatever your politics are, to think that the country is being taken seriously by young men and women who want us to be a Jeffersonian republic is just such a gratifying thing to me."

— Clay S. Jenkinson

We greet a special visitor, our friend Beau Wright. Beau traveled from Lynchburg, Virginia to join us at the studio for a fruitful and interesting conversation about American ideals.

#1313 Gratitude and Thanks

#1313 Gratitude and Thanks

We wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving from the Thomas Jefferson Hour. This week, we speak to four friends including Lisa Suhay, who tells us about her new book America the Grateful; Pat Brodowski, the head gardener at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello; luthier Kevin Muiderman, who gives us an update on the ukulele he is building for Clay; and Nashville-based songwriter Brad Crisler, who tells us about his plans for Thanksgiving in Alabama.

#1312 Elections Matter

#1312 Elections Matter

“You have a population of 330 million. This is a way that the whole system is designed to distill their will.” — Clay S. Jenkinson

The results of the 2018 midterm elections are what we try to sort out this week: what it means, what it implies, and how it fits into Jefferson's view of the United States.

#1311 Jefferson's Views

#1311 Jefferson's Views

"This is a French school of economics and social thinking that I subscribed to, at least in part, that says that wealth comes from the soil"

— Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson

President Jefferson answers listener questions about Jefferson as a guide for our troubled times, Jefferson’s views on slavery, and his thoughts on J. Hector St. John de Crèvecœur's Letters from an American Farmer, published in 1782.

#1310 Valley Forge with Bob Drury and Tom Clavin

#1310 Valley Forge with Bob Drury and Tom Clavin

"It's a very patriotic story in the best sense of the word … these were people who were fighting for a cause."

— Tom Clavin

Clay and David are joined by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin, the #1 New York Times bestselling authors, to discuss their newest book, Valley Forge.

#1309 Water for a Dry Land with Char Miller

#1309 Water for a Dry Land with Char Miller

"Our technology that has unleashed such creativity has also unleashed the capacity for us to destroy the very things that we were creating."

— Char Miller

Clay and David speak with Char Miller, one of the three authors of the 3rd edition of Ogallala: Water for a Dry Land. Char Miller is Director of Environmental Analysis, and W.M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis and History at Pomona College.

#1308 American Dialogue with Joseph Ellis

#1308 American Dialogue with Joseph Ellis

"Indeed, if I read the founders right, their greatest legacy is the recognition that argument itself is the answer."

— Joseph J. Ellis

We welcome back Professor Joseph Ellis — the eminent historian, author and friend of the Jefferson Hour — to speak about his new book, American Dialogue: The Founders and Us, which is out now.

No historian of the early national period of American life has done more than Joseph Ellis to give us a sense of what it was like then: what were the challenges, what were the opportunities, the different types of personalities that went into the mix. It was not a monolith. Ellis is maybe the most spirited prose stylist of all of the historians of that period, and he's interested in four of our national figures from that era, particularly Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison, and the first president of the United States, George Washington. Ellis uses the founders as a springboard to wrestle with eternal problems of American life.

#1307 Live in Pittsburg, KS

#1307 Live in Pittsburg, KS

"You think I'm joking, but I wanted a square America."

— Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson goes on the road this week to Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas. The performance was taped live at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts on September 15, 2018 in front of an audience of over 500 people. The event was hosted by Dustin Treiber, the program director of Four States Public Radio station KRPS.

The subject of this episode was the Louisiana Purchase. Jefferson, to begin the conversation, pointed out to the citizens of Kansas that he bought the state for three cents per acre from Napoleon Bonaparte.

#1305 Wine and Welshmen

#1305 Wine and Welshmen

"We should always listen to science. Science is not political. Science is rational."

— Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson

President Thomas Jefferson answers listener questions this week, including inquiries about Jefferson and wine, Welsh “Indians” in the Dakotas, repairing friendships, and the idea that “the rain followed the plow” during Jefferson’s time.

#1304 To France

#1304 To France

"This period was, in some ways, the most satisfying period of Jefferson's life, and in some ways it was the most radical."

— Clay S. Jenkinson

This week, as promised, and in anticipation of Clay’s upcoming cultural tour of Jefferson’s France in October 2019, we devote an entire show to discussion of Jefferson’s time as Minister to France from 1784 to 1789.

#1303 Can We Talk?

#1303 Can We Talk?

"He saw a nation that collapsed right in front of him and he thought, 'well, I wonder why nations collapse,' and I think that really led to some great thinking."

— Clay S. Jenkinson

We respond to listener mail this week, including questions related to the principle of one-person one-vote, and we discuss replies to Clay’s request for some thoughtful conservative perspectives from listeners who support the Trump administration.

#1302 Alarm Poll

#1302 Alarm Poll

"I'm like everyone else, I'm in the middle. I see some benefits on both edges of the spectrum, but I don't want either of them to prevail."

— Clay S. Jenkinson

Clay S. Jenkinson asked listeners to rate, on a scale of 1 to 10, how alarmed they are about the current state of political affairs in the United States. Rather than just giving a number, many listeners responded with many thoughtful letters. This week we share and read portions from 17 of those letters.

#1301 Farewell Address

#1301 Farewell Address

"George Washington ... was as close to a perfect human being as we believed existed on Earth."

— Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson

This week, we speak with President Jefferson about George Washington's farewell address which was first published in Philadelphia's American Daily Advertiser on September 19, 1796, 222 years ago.

#1300 Better Arguments

#1300 Better Arguments

"Can we talk? Can we try to argue about where we are and where we're going and use the founders as a source of wisdom that might allow us to have a safe place to meet and to talk about this with civility, but with fervor?"

— Joseph J. Ellis

Clay and David discuss how to conduct better arguments, and also speak with author Joseph Ellis to talk about his new book American Dialogue, which will be released this fall.

#1299 Jefferson's Mistakes

#1299 Jefferson's Mistakes

"He was part of the extension of slavery that made the Civil War inevitable, and that led to almost 800,000 deaths."

— Clay S. Jenkinson

This week President Thomas Jefferson speaks about the political mistakes he made.

#1298 As Requested

#1298 As Requested

"You have to wait 14 years under the naturalization law before you can become a full citizen of the United States. These were palpable violations of the Bill of Rights."

— Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson

We spend this week, as requested, responding to submitted questions and correcting some factual errors pointed out by our listeners.