“Most Blessed of the Patriarchs”, Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination by Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter S. Onuf

This is a history of Jefferson’s thought and ideas. The authors show how he planted himself on Monticello, near his childhood home, and made that most handsome acreage his own. In his retirement he hoped to think for the citizens of  the republic he brought to life.

Jefferson’s intellectual pursuits on behalf of the citizens of the new republic he fathered became more and more spiritual and personal as he looked for satisfaction and truth for himself in the last years of his life.

The title, most blessed of the patriarchs, is a line from Jefferson himself. The phrase describes his imagined retirement from public life and the resulting freedom to pursue interests on his farm, with his family nearby, and his books close at hand.

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