Episode

#1326 No Just Government Should Refuse

#1326 No Just Government Should Refuse

"Let me add that a bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, & what no just government should refuse or rest on inference."

— Thomas Jefferson, 1787

President Jefferson answers a number of listener questions about the United States Constitution. We discuss the meaning of Article V, how much of the document is open to interpretation, and the idea of amending the Constitution every generation.

#1325 Pax Americana

#1325 Pax Americana

We answer listener questions this week, and the most mail we received was about Robert Kagan's new book, The Jungle Grows Back, which Tom Friedman of The New York Times called "An incisive, elegantly written, new book about America’s unique role in the world."

#1324 Lochsa

#1324 Lochsa

"nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free."

— Thomas Jefferson, 1821

Clay Jenkinson returns from his cultural retreat held at Lochsa Lodge in Idaho last week and reports in on this year's meetings. Also, perhaps prompted by the 50th anniversary of the famous Beatles "rooftop concert," we wander into a short conversation about pop music, and discuss the recent extreme cold weather along with how Jefferson is co-opted by many of us without paying enough attention to the historical record.

#1323 The Only Security of All Is in a Free Press

#1323 The Only Security of All Is in a Free Press

"were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter."

— Thomas Jefferson, 1787

This week we discuss the importance of a free press with President Jefferson.

#1322 Roosevelt and Jefferson

#1322 Roosevelt and Jefferson

"Few people grow in office; few people grow in life. Roosevelt grew in life. He became more interesting, more sensitive, more thoughtful ... [Roosevelt] became more enlightened as time went on."

— Clay S. Jenkinson

Prompted by a listener request, and recognizing the 100th anniversary Theodore Roosevelt’s death, this week Clay Jenkinson discusses the differences, and a few similarities, between Roosevelt and Jefferson.

#1321 January First

#1321 January First

January 1st was an important day to Thomas Jefferson for many reasons. This week, we speak with President Jefferson about notable New Year's Day occurrences during his life.

#1320 Looking Forward

#1320 Looking Forward

"It's going to be a pivotal year in American history."

— Clay S. Jenkinson

We look forward to 2019 and discuss some of the episode topics that have been suggested to us by the Fans of the Thomas Jefferson Hour group on Facebook.

#1319 Looking Back

#1319 Looking Back

"I really loved the year 2018, but I'm even more looking forward to the year 2019."

— Clay S. Jenkinson

We look back at 2018 and wish everyone a happy New Year. This episode is our chance to revisit all of the great conversations we've had about Jefferson in 2018.

#1318 Was Thomas Jefferson a Christian?

#1318 Was Thomas Jefferson a Christian?

"I believe so strongly that Jefferson was right about separation of church and state."

— Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson

We wish all a Merry Christmas from The Thomas Jefferson Hour, which, as it turns out, is perhaps more than Thomas Jefferson would have done. Jefferson was not a believer in celebrating Christmas in a traditional fashion and felt it should not be a national holiday.

#1317 Madison's Letters

#1317 Madison's Letters

"Jefferson yielded to Madison's stronger concern. He needed him and he trusted him."

— Clay S. Jenkinson

#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.