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The Writings of Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .To have an idea of the curse of existence under these last, they must be seen. It is a government of wolves over sheep. It is a problem, not clear in my mind, that the first condition is not the best. But I believe it to be inconsistent with any great degree of population. The second state has a great deal of good in it. The mass of mankind under that, enjoys a precious degree of liberty and happiness. It has its evils, too; the principal of which is the turbulence to which it is subject. But weigh this against the oppressions of monarchy, and it becomes nothing. Malo periculosam libertatem quam quietam servitutem. Even this evil is productive of good. It prevents the degeneracy of government, and nourishes a general attention to the public affairs. I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people, . . . Read More

Community Reviews

This is a large 1,500 page collection of the writings of Thomas Jefferson, from his public papers, his autobiography, his inaugural addresses, state of the union addresses, and private letters. For myself, I found it invaluable for possessing several parts where Jefferson describes the purpose of...more

We should not be so hasty to charge the historical figures of yesterday by the moral standards of today. Without Jefferson's Declaration of Independence, human society would be so much worse off, in so many ways. To besmirch his memory as is most constantly done with the usual tagline "...but he...more

Watched the John Adams movie and was inspired to pull this book from my library book shelf and dust it off again. I can't think of anyone today being as accomplished so early in life as the men of the revolutionary time. It just amazing that someone could accomplish so much so quick. Also, I didn...more

Man Jefferson was dang cool.

Reading his writings has been an excellent way to get an understanding of Jefferson. His convictions, his contradictions, his reasoning and at times his eloquence are expressed. Apparently there are more of his letters and other writings than included here, even though this set extended over 1500...more

A bit of a slog sometimes. But it is rife with gems of wisdom. I look forward to typing up and preserving the hundreds of bits of insight found among his letters and speeches.

Thomas Jefferson was quite the rennaisance man. Planter, architect, politician, inventer. He was also a radical, an admirer of the French revolution, believer that each generation must have its own revolution. But, his writing style comes across as flowery, dense, and pedantic. Contrast Franklin,...more

The man had opinions - but I think it goes with being a revolutionary. His writings are a joy to read - he is interested in everything and usually has intelligent things to say about them. It is that quality that marks an exceptional man - curiosity and the intelligence to make use of it. If only...more

Jefferson's answer to the French government's skeptical queries about this home state of Virigina takes at the form of an ode to the developing culture of the USA just after the American Revolution.

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