Notes on the State of Virginia (The Norton library)

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9780393006476: Notes on the State of Virginia (The Norton library)
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Available for the first time in Penguin Classics, Notes on the State of Virginia is at once a scientific discourse, an attempt to define America, and an examination of the idea of freedom. With the same genius and clear, flexible prose style that informs the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson chronicles Virginia's natural, social, and political history.

Frank Shuffleton includes in this edition with selections from relevant correspondence and discusses the work's origins, composition, and initial reception. He focuses particularly on Jefferson's response to contemporary scientific writings on "New World degeneracy"; his differing treatment of Blacks and Native Americans; and his influential (and problematic) role in creating a mythicized American self-image.

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Book Description:

"[Peden] has made available the authoritative edition of one of the most important books to emerge in eighteenth-century America. He has set forth the history of its reception and criticism in such a way as to establish his point that in the 'Notes on Virginia' Jefferson 'produced one of America's first permanent literary and intellectual landmarks.'"-- Virginia Quarterly Review

From the Back Cover:

This American classic is the only full-length book written and published by Thomas Jefferson during his lifetime. Written in 1781, Notes on the State of Virginia was begun by Jefferson as a commentary on the resources and institutions of his home state, but the work's lasting value lies in its delineation of Jefferson's major philosophical, political, scientific, and ethical beliefs. Along with his accounts of such factual matters as North American flora and fauna, Jefferson expounds his views on slavery, education, religious freedom, representative government, and the separation of church and state. The book is the best single statement of Jefferson's principles and the best reflection of his wide-ranging tastes and talents. This edition, meticulously edited by William Peden, was originally published by the University of North Carolina Press in 1955.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

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