The Cambridge companion to Thomas Jefferson /

Corporate Author: Cambridge collections online.
Other Authors: Shuffelton, Frank, 1940-
Format: Online Book
Language: English
Published: Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Series: Cambridge companions to American studies.
Online Access: Online version
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Review by Choice Review

Aimed at students of American studies, history, and literature, the publisher's "Companions to American Studies" series commissions leading experts to address the lives of key figures in US history and culture, and includes a chronology of the subject and guide to further reading. In this volume, editor Shuffelton's compilation describes the quintessential American Renaissance man, while the chapters reveal Jefferson's positive and negative contributions. Jefferson practiced politics, read and wrote voraciously, challenged ideas, and even designed buildings and a secular university. Yet Jefferson also owned slaves and displayed a racial bias. He based his idea of popular sovereignty on individualism and the doctrine of states' rights, with all of its inherent flaws. Jefferson envisioned that Indians would assimilate into white culture, erasing Native differences and ultimately paving the way for their disappearance from the US landscape. His vision of education did not seek knowledge for its own sake, but rather as a mechanism to ensure the perpetuation of republican philosophy. In effect, Jefferson still represents an enigma not understood; this volume does not completely solve that puzzle, but it further clarifies an understanding of him. Summing Up: Recommended. General and undergraduate collections. G. A. Smith Texas Christian University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.