"I myself am largely a vegetarian — not completely, but largely so."
— Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson
Here’s the constitutional crisis, what might even be called the constitutional nightmare of our time. The current president is now insisting that members of the executive branch will not be permitted to testify before Congress.
I confess that I did in fact think that more indictments were coming, perhaps even within the Trump family. I did think that Special Prosecutor Mueller would conclude that the Trump organization conspired with the Russians to influence the election. I was plainly wrong.
The American people regard the US Constitution as a sacred document—even though Jefferson specifically asked us not to—and historically we have been very reluctant to tamper with it. Too bad, because it is badly in need of fundamental revision. Our Constitutional order has broken down. After years of thinking about this, I offer the following amendments.
It’s an exceedingly important book. And it explains a lot of things that may seem puzzling to you, as they do to me.
I’m going to be alone this Christmas for the first time in twenty years—so do feel free to send presents—cognac, figs, books, music, frankincense and myrrh, whatever they are.
"That is one of the most fun things that I try to do, reacquaint people with the joyous flavor of the tomato that they crave."
— Craig LeHoullier
Inspired by a letter from Alison Hagan, we talk with three tomato experts: Craig LeHoullier, author of Epic Tomatoes; Harry J. Klee, Ph.D. from the University of Florida; and Pat Brodowski, Head Gardener at Monticello. They speak about the best-tasting tomatoes, how to grow them, where to get seeds, why commercial varieties have lost their flavor, and how Jefferson is connected to all this.
In the end food is just fuel. It keeps the engine running, and for me the engine was designed to do the work of the soul—to read books and maybe write some too, to imagine the world you want to live in, to evaluate the events that take place in the public square, to lift oneself and those around you to a higher plane of enlightenment, to do what you can—in Jefferson’s words—to ameliorate the condition of mankind.
"I am more candid in your era than I ever would have been in mine."
— Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson
This week, we speak with President Jefferson about his hospitality and good manners. In her book, The First Forty Years of Washington Society Margaret Bayard Smith quotes federalist Supreme Court Justice William Paterson’s opinion of Thomas Jefferson. Of Jefferson he said, “No man can be personally acquainted with Mr. Jefferson and remain his personal enemy."
We speak with President Jefferson this week in our annual 4th of July Show. Jefferson shares his thoughts on why the holiday is so important to Americans and recalls how it was celebrated during his time. We also speak to Gaye Wilson, the Shannon Senior Historian at the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies and Pat Brodowski, specialty gardener at Monticello who tell us about the celebrations being held at Monticello.