The Long Affair: Thomas Jefferson and the French Revolution, 1785-1800

3.6 avg rating
( 20 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780712666831: The Long Affair: Thomas Jefferson and the French Revolution, 1785-1800
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

This is an examination of Thomas Jefferson through the critical lens of the French Revolution. Conor Cruise O'Brien argues that Jefferson, though enthralled with the ideological mystique of the French Revolution, nevertheless retained a shrewd political pragmatism, skillfully exploiting the Revolution's popularity with the American public. Ultimately, O'Brien suggests, Jefferson's egalitarian ideals came into conflict with his staunch political support for the slave-based southern economy. Following the French-inspired slave insurrection in Santo Domingo, his revolutionary zeal began to cool. The book concludes with an evaluation of Jefferson's current role in the system of American political beliefs.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

Conor Cruise O'Brien, the distinguished Irish diplomat, constitutional historian and writer, has produced a typically vigorous and sweeping polemic against the reputation of the author of the Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson. O'Brien contends that liberals are mistaken in claiming Jefferson as one of their own; indeed he regards the right-wing militias as the true heirs to Jefferson's spirit. Contrasting Jefferson's position with that of his longtime hero, the anti-revolutionary Edmund Burke, O'Brien details the extreme edges of Jeffersonian political theory, in particular his commitment to the French Revolution even in the face of its excesses ("rather than it should have failed, I would have seen half the earth desolated"). For O'Brien, the American revolution is still a glorious achievement, but Jefferson is demoted to a mere "draughtsman" of the Declaration.

From the Back Cover:

Certain to be as controversial and explosive as it is elegant and learned, The Long Affair is Conor Cruise O'Brien's examination of Jefferson, as man and icon, through the critical lens of the French Revolution. Unable to speak the language, endowed with few close friends or colleagues, and curiously detached from Parisian intellectual life, Thomas Jefferson seemed an alienated and somewhat homesick Virginia farmer during most of his tenure as American Minister to France. But the advent of the French Revolution seized Jefferson with a new fervor, and in 1789 he returned to the United States an ardent admirer and ally of that cause. O'Brien argues that Jefferson, though enthralled with the ideological mystique of the French Revolution, nevertheless retained a shrewd political pragmatism, skillfully exploiting the Revolution's popularity with the American public. Ultimately, O'Brien suggests, Jefferson's egalitarian ideals came into conflict with his staunch political support for the slave-based Southern economy. Following the slave insurrection in Haiti inspired by the French Revolution, his revolutionary zeal was tempered and began to cool. Concluding with an evaluation of Jefferson's current role in the system of American political beliefs, O'Brien seriously questions whether we can sustain Jefferson's lofty status in an increasingly multiracial America, and he suggests a disturbing link between Jefferson's vision and white supremacist, survivalist extremists. A provocative analysis of the supreme symbol of American history and political culture, The Long Affair will challenge our traditional perceptions of both Jeffersonian history and the Jeffersonian legacy.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780226616568: The Long Affair: Thomas Jefferson and the French Revolution, 1785-1800

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0226616568 ISBN 13:  9780226616568
Publisher: University of Chicago Press, 1998
Softcover

9780226616537: The Long Affair: Thomas Jefferson and the French Revolution, 1785-1800

Univer..., 1996
Hardcover

9780571326006: The Long Affair: Thomas Jefferson and the French Revolution 1785-1800

Faber ..., 2015
Softcover

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Conor C Obrien
Published by Pimlico (1998)
ISBN 10: 0712666834 ISBN 13: 9780712666831
New Softcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Portland, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Pimlico, 1998. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0712666834

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 19.92
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Obrien, Conor C
ISBN 10: 0712666834 ISBN 13: 9780712666831
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Rick's Retro Mags N More
(Hicksville, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Condition: New. Brand new and never read book. We ship with free delivery confirmation and in bubble envelope. Seller Inventory # roslyn012

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 16.50
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Conor Cruise O'Brien
Published by Pimlico 1998 (1998)
ISBN 10: 0712666834 ISBN 13: 9780712666831
New Softcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Robin Summers
(Aldeburgh, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Pimlico 1998, 1998. Condition: New. New paperback. May show some slight shelf wear but content fine and unread. Seller Inventory # A65316

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 18.99
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 17.06
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds