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Light and Liberty: Thomas Jefferson and the Power of Knowledge ed. by Robert M. S. McDonald, and: Thomas Jefferson, Time, and History by Hannah Spahn (review)

Light and Liberty: Thomas Jefferson and the Power of Knowledge ed. by Robert M. S. McDonald, and:... Light and Liberty: Thomas Jefferson and the Power of Knowledge. Edited by Robert M. S. McDonald. (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012. Pp. 256. Cloth, $40.00.) Thomas Jefferson, Time, and History. By Hannah Spahn. (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2011. Pp. 304. Cloth, $45.00.) Reviewed by Sean P. Harvey Thomas Jefferson believed generations should be sovereign, but he intended to shape the instruction of younger Americans so they could preserve the revolutionary inheritance that his own generation had bequeathed. Robert McDonald's essay collection successfully illuminates the projects through which Jefferson optimistically hoped to educate the citizenry. Hannah Spahn's compelling intellectual history elaborates the views of time and history that led a more pessimistic Jefferson to suspect that history writing was unreliable, believe that historical precedent did not apply to the country, and ultimately distrust the succeeding generation. Jefferson's notions of nationhood and difference, and the actions that proceeded from them, are central to reconciling these contrasting interpretations. Light and Liberty exposes the multifaceted shape of Jefferson's educational ambition. Formal institutions were central to this vision. Focusing on the Bill for the More General Diffusion of Knowledge (1778), Johann Neem examines Jefferson's advocacy of an ``active state'' (47) that http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Early Republic University of Pennsylvania Press

Light and Liberty: Thomas Jefferson and the Power of Knowledge ed. by Robert M. S. McDonald, and: Thomas Jefferson, Time, and History by Hannah Spahn (review)

Journal of the Early Republic , Volume 33 (2) – Apr 17, 2013

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.
ISSN
1553-0620
Publisher site
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Abstract

Light and Liberty: Thomas Jefferson and the Power of Knowledge. Edited by Robert M. S. McDonald. (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012. Pp. 256. Cloth, $40.00.) Thomas Jefferson, Time, and History. By Hannah Spahn. (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2011. Pp. 304. Cloth, $45.00.) Reviewed by Sean P. Harvey Thomas Jefferson believed generations should be sovereign, but he intended to shape the instruction of younger Americans so they could preserve the revolutionary inheritance that his own generation had bequeathed. Robert McDonald's essay collection successfully illuminates the projects through which Jefferson optimistically hoped to educate the citizenry. Hannah Spahn's compelling intellectual history elaborates the views of time and history that led a more pessimistic Jefferson to suspect that history writing was unreliable, believe that historical precedent did not apply to the country, and ultimately distrust the succeeding generation. Jefferson's notions of nationhood and difference, and the actions that proceeded from them, are central to reconciling these contrasting interpretations. Light and Liberty exposes the multifaceted shape of Jefferson's educational ambition. Formal institutions were central to this vision. Focusing on the Bill for the More General Diffusion of Knowledge (1778), Johann Neem examines Jefferson's advocacy of an ``active state'' (47) that

Journal

Journal of the Early RepublicUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Apr 17, 2013

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