Two articles with TJ/Monticello content in the latest issue of Early American Life:
"The Faces of a Generation," by Audrey J. Wolfe, about sculptor John Browere (who did a near-deadly life mask of Jefferson - there's a rather horrifying description of the proceedings by granddaughter Virginia here)
A new intriguing book on the shelves: Impossible Engineering: Technology and Territoriality on the Canal du Midi, by Chandra Mukerji (Princeton, 2009). This dovetails nicely with one of our new TJ Encyclopedia articles, which features (among other useful pieces of information), an itinerary of Jefferson's travels through southern France and Italy - during which, yes, he visited the Canal du Midi. He rather liked it:more »
In a recent entry on the Huffington Post, Michael Meranze, History Professor at UCLA, quotes Jefferson and cites his epitaph in arguing against cuts in state spending on education at all levels in California.
Our friend Rick Britton is offering a class through the Charlottesville Senior Center entitled "Tales of the University: Great Names & Events in U.Va.'s Early History." Details are as follows:
Introduction—The beautiful University of Virginia is truly a special gem among institutions of higher learning. The story of its founding along with the fascinating accounts of its first century form the basis for this six-session class. Come join us & hear “Tales of the University!” more »
There was a little mini-explosion of chatter over the last week on What Jefferson Thought About Intelligent Design. I wasn't aware that Jefferson thought about intelligent design, but as we all know, if you use Thomas Jefferson's name in your argument, you automatically win. Double points for including a relevant quotation.more »
Over the July 4th weekend I celebrated by watching a lot of Founding-Fathery patriotic television shows. This was more disturbing than entertaining, as one particular show - which I shall forebear to mention here - set me off on a Rumpelstilskin-esque fit of rage. I actually yelled at my television as it, in all earnestness, told me the story of the "Unknown Patriot," a mysterious figure who appeared at the Continental Congress and exhorted the members to Sign the Declaration! (Because they never would have, if some guy at the back of the room that nobody had ever semore »
In her latest piece for the New York Times, Maira Kalman presents a moving and funny homage to Jefferson and Monticello following a recent visit to Charlottesville. Reader reaction has been very positive. Over 250 comments posted were in under 24 hours, with many including references to past and planned tours of Jefferson's mountaintop home.
It would be gilding the lily somewhat for me to try to talk too much about this, so I'll just say that author/artist Maira Kalman visited Monticello and captured the experience in one of her trademark picture-essay blog entries, entitled "Time Wastes Too Fast." It is, in the words of one commenter, "sublime." And the comments on her entry (379 and counting) are the most remarkable outpouring of emotion about Jefferson that I've ever seen. You must see this thing.more »