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Nature’s Man: Thomas Jefferson’s Philosophical Anthropology by Maurizio Valsania (review)

Nature’s Man: Thomas Jefferson’s Philosophical Anthropology by Maurizio Valsania (review) JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC (Summer 2014) Nature's Man: Thomas Jefferson's Philosophical Anthropology. By Maurizio Valsania. (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013. Pp. 204. Cloth, $35.00.) Reviewed by Lorri Glover In Nature's Man, Maurizio Valsania offers a nuanced and theoretically sophisticated exploration of Thomas Jefferson's ideas about human nature, the qualities he idealized in individuals, and the importance of community to that worldview--his ``philosophical anthropology.'' In just over 150 pages of text, the work manages to link a stunning range of topics without ever feeling forced or fleeting. The three chapters read like an extended essay, weaving together what often can seem like disparate pieces to Jefferson's long career and varied writings to give a fresh take on one of the most-studied people in American history. Valsania clearly has a strong command of Jefferson's writings and ideas, and this book is written with confidence and verve. The author is equally adept when contemplating Jefferson's views on women and Native Americans as he is in discussions of Jefferson's land policies while president and attitudes toward equality and equal rights. He offers novel insight on often-read Jefferson writings, including, most notably, his ``head and heart'' letter to Maria Cosway, ``A http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Early Republic University of Pennsylvania Press

Nature’s Man: Thomas Jefferson’s Philosophical Anthropology by Maurizio Valsania (review)

Journal of the Early Republic , Volume 34 (2)

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.
ISSN
1553-0620
Publisher site
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Abstract

JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC (Summer 2014) Nature's Man: Thomas Jefferson's Philosophical Anthropology. By Maurizio Valsania. (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013. Pp. 204. Cloth, $35.00.) Reviewed by Lorri Glover In Nature's Man, Maurizio Valsania offers a nuanced and theoretically sophisticated exploration of Thomas Jefferson's ideas about human nature, the qualities he idealized in individuals, and the importance of community to that worldview--his ``philosophical anthropology.'' In just over 150 pages of text, the work manages to link a stunning range of topics without ever feeling forced or fleeting. The three chapters read like an extended essay, weaving together what often can seem like disparate pieces to Jefferson's long career and varied writings to give a fresh take on one of the most-studied people in American history. Valsania clearly has a strong command of Jefferson's writings and ideas, and this book is written with confidence and verve. The author is equally adept when contemplating Jefferson's views on women and Native Americans as he is in discussions of Jefferson's land policies while president and attitudes toward equality and equal rights. He offers novel insight on often-read Jefferson writings, including, most notably, his ``head and heart'' letter to Maria Cosway, ``A

Journal

Journal of the Early RepublicUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

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