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Thomas Jefferson and American Nationhood

$26.00 USD

Part of Cambridge Studies on the American South

  • Date Published: August 2012
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9781139534369

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  • This book emphasises the centrality of nationhood to Thomas Jefferson's thought and politics, envisioning Jefferson as a cultural nationalist whose political project sought the alignment of the American state system with the will and character of the nation. Jefferson believed that America was the one nation on earth able to realise in practice universal ideals to which other peoples could only aspire. He appears in the book as the essential narrator of what he once called the 'American Story': as the historian, the sociologist and the ethnographer; the political theorist of the nation; the most successful practitioner of its politics; and its most enthusiastic champion. The book argues that reorienting Jefferson around the concept of American nationhood recovers an otherwise easily missed coherence to his political career and helps make sense of a number of conundrums in his thought and practice.

    • Describes Jefferson's extensive sociological appraisal of American character
    • Explains how Jefferson's nationalism informed his approach to politics and statecraft, rendering many of the famous Jefferson contradictions more comprehensible and coherent
    • Contains a thorough reassessment of Jefferson's politics, describing his opposition to the Federalists as a nationalist project to align state with nation
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Steele's Jefferson is much more complicated than a provincial Virginia planter with a cosmopolitan twist; he is the consummate architect of American nationalism precisely because he imagined and articulated a powerful understanding of Americans as a special people - a cultural and political nation - whose unique character transcended region or class and had universal significance.' Drew R. McCoy, Journal of Southern History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2012
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9781139534369
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: Jefferson's America
    2. American story
    3. American woman
    4. American character
    5. American public
    6. American state
    7. American union
    8. Epilogue: America's Jefferson.

  • Author

    Brian Steele, University of Alabama, Birmingham
    Brian Steele is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. His work has appeared in the Journal of American History and the Journal of Southern History.

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