The Quotable Jefferson
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The Quotable Jefferson

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More than any other Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson made his reputation on the brilliance of his writing. John Adams chose the 33-year-old Jefferson to draft the Declaration of Independence largely because of his "masterly Pen." The genius of the Declaration and Jefferson's later writings amply confirmed Adams's judgment. Few writers have said so much on so many subjects--and said it so well--as Jefferson. The Quotable Jefferson--the most comprehensive and authoritative book of Jefferson quotations ever published--demonstrates that as does no other book. Drawing primarily on The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, published by Princeton University Press, John Kaminski has carefully collected and cleverly arranged Jefferson's pronouncements on almost 500 subjects, ranging from the profound and public--the Constitution--to the personal and peculiar--cold water bathing. The Quotable Jefferson is the first book to put Jefferson's words in context with a substantial introduction, a chronology of Jefferson's life, the source of each quotation, an appendix identifying Jefferson's correspondents, and a comprehensive index. The main section of Jefferson quotations, which are arranged alphabetically by topic, is followed by three other fascinating sections of quotations: Jefferson on his contemporaries, his contemporaries on him, and Jefferson on himself. This book will delight the casual reader and browser, but it is also a serious and carefully edited reference work. Whatever the subject, if Jefferson said something memorable about it, you are likely to find it here.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 624 pages
  • 124.5 x 188 x 38.1mm | 567g
  • Princeton University Press
  • New Jersey, United States
  • English
  • 0691122679
  • 9780691122670
  • 1,176,129

Review quote

"If your family library contains no volume on Jefferson, John Kaminski's The Quotable Jefferson would be the perfect place to start. Every quotation is attributed to its source and it seems impossible that any reader who browses these pages would not be enticed to go more deeply into the life and history of Thomas Jefferson and in doing so, into the very heart of the nation of which he was so able a founder."--Mary Garrett, The Advocate "This book will delight the casual reader and browser, but it is also a serious and carefully edited reference work. Whatever the subject, if Jefferson said something memorable about it, you are likely to find it here."--Spartacus Educational "This is an elegant collection of quotations. . . . For those who enjoy their history in tasty tidbits and colorful personal language, this is a great book to dip into."--Edmonton Journal "John P. Kaminski's work, the product of many years research and laborious editing, will help to familiarize readers with the world view of Jefferson, while placing his words in the correct context. The work, even in the light of the volumes on Jefferson already at hand, is a welcome addition for those wanting to understand the man in his own word."--Patrick McNamara, National Conservative Weeklyshow more

Back cover copy

"Succeeding admirably in condensing the best quotes from around twenty thousand letters, this book will awaken some readers to the wit and wisdom of Jefferson, and enable others to rediscover it. Here is Jefferson in his own words, without historians acting as intermediaries. It is very fortunate to have an editor of John Kaminski's caliber produce such an accessible and useful volume."--Andrew O'Shaughnessy, Saunders Director at the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello, author of An Empire Divided "John P. Kaminski, whose impressive editorial work places him among the most knowledgeable scholars of the founding period, has selected a highly readable and insightful collection of observations by Thomas Jefferson. True to Jefferson's brilliance and probing intellect, Kaminski organizes these materials to suit the taste of the modern reader."--Whitman H. Ridgway, University of Maryland, author of Community Leadership in Maryland, 1790-1840show more

About Thomas Jefferson

John P. Kaminski is the founder and director of the Center for the Study of the American Constitution in the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is the director and coeditor of The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution (nineteen volumes to date). He has written or edited sixteen other books, including three on Thomas Jefferson.show more

Table of contents

PREFACE xiINTRODUCTION xxiiiTHOMAS JEFFERSON CHRONOLOGY lxiiiThe Thoughts and Words of Thomas Jefferson 3Advice 3Agriculture 6America 12The American Revolution 18The Arts 21Books 24Cities, Countries, and Regions 31The Constitution 50Death 60Dreams, Imagination, and Memories 64Duty, Honor, and Citizenship 67The Economy 77Education and Knowledge 83Family 97Food and Drink 108Foreign Affairs 112Freedom and Liberty 116Friends and Enemies 123Government 132Health, Medicine, and Exercise 173History 181Human Action and Interaction 186Human Nature 227Indians 242Inventions and Ideas 246Jefferson's Presidency 252The Judiciary and Justice 258Language 265Life 273Life's Difficulties 290Love 296The Military 298Morality 300The Natural World 310Occupations 321Pain and Pleasure 323Peace 326The People 329Politics 331The Press 342Racism 351Religion 352Slavery 373Travel 379War 384Women 392Thomas Jefferson DescribesHis Contemporaries 397Thomas Jefferson Described byHis Contemporaries 442Thomas Jefferson Describes Himself 490JEFFERSON'S CORRESPONDENTS 501BIBLIOGRAPHY 515INDEX 519show more

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32 ratings
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