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Thomas Jefferson and the Science of Republican Government
A Political Biography of Notes on the State of Virginia

$105.00 (C)

  • Date Published: April 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107157361

$ 105.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This biography of Thomas Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia, his only published book, challenges conventional wisdom by demonstrating its core political thought as well as the political aspirations behind its composition, publication and initial dissemination. Building upon a close reading of the book's contents, Jefferson's correspondence and the first comprehensive examination of both its composition and publication history, the authors argue that Jefferson intended his Notes to be read by a wide audience, especially in America, in order to help shape constitutional debates in the critical period of the 1780s. Jefferson, through his determined publication and distribution of his Notes even while serving as American ambassador in Paris, thus brought his own constitutional and political thought into the public sphere - and at times into conflict with the writings of John Adams and James Madison, stimulating a debate over the proper form of Republican constitutionalism that still reverberates in American political thought.

    • Thoroughly analyses the Notes' publication history, demonstrating how it shaped political events at the time and its intended audience
    • Provides important insight into the power of Biblical allusions in political discourse, of interest to all students of eighteenth-century political rhetoric
    • Through textual analysis and personal letters, the book provides the most thorough account of the relationship between John Adams' Defense of the Constitutions of the United States and Jefferson's Notes
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Gish and Klinghard make their case thoroughly, drawing on in-depth knowledge of the scholarship on Notes, Enlightenment science and scientific polemics, and the political history of the United States in the years they say constitute the book's political biography. The benefit of their serious, thoughtful, imaginative scholarship becomes evident in the culminating section on Jefferson and Madison, perhaps the most thought provoking and thus rewarding section of the book.' David Tucker, The Review of Politics

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107157361
    • length: 348 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.6kg
    • contains: 1 table
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Origins and Influences:
    1. The composition history of Jefferson's Notes
    2. The formal structure of Jefferson's Notes
    Part II. Interpretation:
    3. Reading the Notes, part I nature
    4. Reading the Notes, part II cautious philosophy
    5. Reading the Notes, part III peoples and constitutions
    6. Reading the Notes, part IV Republican reforms
    Part III. Publication and Reception:
    7. The publication history of Jefferson's Notes
    8. Jefferson, Adams, and the view of rebellion from abroad
    9. Jefferson, Madison, and Republican constitutionalism

  • Authors

    Dustin Gish, University of Houston
    Dustin Gish is the contributing co-editor of The Quest for Excellence: Liberal Arts, Sciences, and Core Texts (2016), Shakespeare and the Body Politic (2013) and Souls With Longing: Representations of Honor and Love in Shakespeare (2011). He is Instructional Faculty in the Honors College at the University of Houston. He is also a contributing co-editors of Resistance to Tyrants, Obedience to God: Reason, Religion, and Republicanism at the American Founding (with Daniel Klinghard, 2013).

    Daniel Klinghard, College of the Holy Cross, Massachusetts
    Daniel Klinghard is the author of The Nationalization of American Political Parties, 1880–1896 (Cambridge, 2010), which was awarded the Leon Epstein Book Prize by the Political Parties and Organizations Section of the American Political Science Association. He is Professor of Political Science at the College of the Holy Cross, Massachusetts. He is also a contributing co-editors of Resistance to Tyrants, Obedience to God: Reason, Religion, and Republicanism at the American Founding (with Daniel Klinghard, 2013).

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