Manual Thomas Jefferson: Author of America (Eminent Lives)

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ISBN 13: 9780007213726

Dust Jacket Condition: very good. First Printing [Stated]. Inscribed on title page with reference to 'many thanks for his book help'. Christopher Eric Hitchens 13 April - 15 December was an Anglo-American author, columnist, essayist, orator, religious and literary critic, social critic, and journalist.

Hitchens was the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of over 30 books, including five collections of essays, on a range of subjects, including politics, literature, and religion. Hitchens was an ardent advocate for the separation of church and state; a self-described antitheist, he regarded the concept of a god or supreme being as a totalitarian belief that destroys individual freedom, and argued that free expression and scientific discovery should replace religion as a means of teaching ethics and defining human civilization.

Thomas Jefferson: Author of America is a biography of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence , by author, journalist and literary critic Christopher Hitchens.

The Life-Centered Philosophy of Thomas Jefferson

It was released as a part of Harper Collins' Eminent Lives series of "biographies by distinguished authors on canonical figures. Ted Widmer of The New York Times wrote, "Hitchens brings a refreshing perspective to the task, both in that he has not written at length about the founding moment and in that he sees Jefferson from the perspective of a Briton, albeit an Americanized one. Situating Jefferson within the context of America's evolution and tracing his legacy over the past two hundred years, Hitchens brings the character of Jefferson to life as a man of his time and also as a symbolic figure beyond it.

Conflicted by power, Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and acted as Minister to France yet yearned for a quieter career in the Virginia legislature.

Symposium on Science, Reason, and Modern Democracy

An eloquent writer, he was an awkward public speaker; a reluctant candidate, he left an indelible presidential legacy. But this is not to say Thomas Jefferson was a scientific dilettante or dabbler. Far from it. After all, Jefferson is surely the only president who read Newton's Principia in Latin and could correct the leading astronomer of his day on its interpretation. But Jefferson liked to live on earth, and whenever he writes of his scientific activities, one is struck by the predominantly practical rather than contemplative cast of his mind.

Description

Thus, what one sees at Jefferson's Monticello estate is a powerful mind bent to practical difficulties. An indefatigable gadgeteer, Jefferson filled Monticello—which he himself designed—with mechanical innovations: a complex clock in the front hallway, dumbwaiters, a revolving bookstand, a portable writing table, an invention to duplicate letters as he wrote, even a special ventilation and cooling system. The surrounding grounds serve as an elegant showcase for his interests in botany and scientific agriculture.

This very Jeffersonian attitude—that knowledge should enhance human life—was more broadly an Enlightenment attitude.

thrilertunti.tk Thus, in the year of Jefferson's birth, Benjamin Franklin established a "philosophical" organization with a strikingly life-centered agenda: to conduct "all philosophical Experiments that let Light into the Nature of Things, tend to increase the Power of Man over Matter, and multiply the Conveniences or Pleasures of Life. From Jefferson, the society received designs for new inventions, observations on establishing weights and measures, and correspondence on everything from meteorology to fossils.


  • Eminent Lives: Thomas Jefferson : Author of America by Christopher Hitchens (2005, Hardcover).
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He was perfectly at home discussing the heavens or mechanics with David Rittenhouse, an ingenious inventor and America's foremost astronomer; medicine and anatomy with the peerless Dr. Benjamin Rush; flora and fauna with Benjamin Smith Barton, the nation's leading botanist and anthropologist; or chemistry, physics, and electricity with the renowned Joseph Priestley. Jefferson came to be held in such esteem by these eminent scientists that he was elected the society's president in , a post they then refused to let him quit for nearly two decades.

George Washington

Historian Daniel J. Why did this generalist command the enduring respect of specialists? Why, as Boorstin puts it, was Thomas Jefferson "the human magnet who drew them together and gave order and meaning to their discrete investigations" p. Because Jefferson "possessed a mind more catholic than theirs and better able to see nature as a whole.

Christopher Hitchens - Thomas Jefferson: Author of America (May 6, 2006)

Being a statesman, he persistently demanded the human implications of their science" p. It is precisely because of his concern with the "human implications" of intellectual pursuits that Thomas Jefferson became the leader of the American Enlightenment. In countless arenas—scientific, cultural, and political—he focused the thinking of the nation's best and brightest toward the task of advancing not pure reason, but human life as an end in itself.

So, on his birthday this month, let us remember him not just as a Founding Father, architect, inventor, or scientist. Thomas Jefferson was all that, and something more.