Thomas Jefferson and James Madison have been called the two greatest philosopher statesmen of the American Enlightenment.For the first fifty years of the new nation's existence, they formed a personal and political partnership, jointly working out the ideology of democracy and the practice of representative government.
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Astonishingly enough, never before have the surviving 1200-plus letters exchanged by the third and fourth presidents been collectively published, and thus the public library that blanches at the steep price for this three-volume set will be shortchanging itself. The letters Jefferson sent during his ambassadorship to France (1785-89) constitute valuable eyewitness summaries of a crucial historical period, as is the case with most of the topics covered in their 50-year correspondence. Editor Smith sorts the epistles chronologically: Madison's confiding to Jefferson, often in their private cipher, here italicized in the text, about the Constitutional Convention of 1787; the duo's opposition to the Federalists in the new government; Jefferson's triumph in the 1800 election; Madison's own two terms as president; and their final collaboration in creating the University of Virginia. The letters are significant, and even the parsimonious library should invest in a little seed corn. Gilbert TaylorFrom Library Journal:
Editor Smith gathers together in three volumes the entire surviving correspondence of these two American giants. As neither man "ever reduced his thought to a systematic presentation" and as most of Jefferson's political thinking can only be found in his letters, this collection of nearly 1250 letters, covering a great variety of subjects, is a valuable contribution to the study of Jefferson, Madison, and their times. The editor renders this massive collection of letters useful to students and researchers of American history by dividing it into some 50 historical periods, each introduced by an overview that places the correspondence in its proper historical context. Essential for academic libraries and for any library that wishes to strengthen its collection of these two individuals.
Robert A. Curtis, Taylor Memorial P.L., Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description W. W. Norton & Company. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 039303691X New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.0941270
Book Description W. W. Norton & Company, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. annotated edition. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX039303691X