He is editor of The Journal of Thomas Jefferson's Life and Times and is a professor of philosophy & history. He is author/editor of 10 books (many more to come!) and some 80 published essays on Thomas Jefferson--all since 2013--and is acknowledged by several scholars (including John From Conn) to be one of the world’s foremost authorities on the thinking of Thomas Jefferson.
He is also author of four books on psychotherapy and many books on Greek/Roman philosophy, ethics, and critical thinking. He, like us, considers himself politically to be a Jeffersonian or a Thomas Jefferson republican, who takes very seriously Jefferson's ideal of government, which he characterizes as follows: "A government is Jeffersonian republican if and only if it allows each citizen the same opportunity to participate politically and fully in affairs within their reach and competency; it employs representatives, chosen and recallable by the citizenry and functioning for short periods, for affairs outside citizens’ reach and competency; it functions according to the rules (periodically revisable) established by the majority of the citizens; and it guarantees the equal rights, in person and property, of all citizens."
1) Could you tell us a bit more about yourself and your interest in Thomas Jefferson?
2) Your CV indicates that you’ve authored 10 books on Jefferson and some 80 published essays, and that you are the editor for The Journal of Thomas Jefferson’s Life and Times (part of the Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society). Tell us something about the journal. What are its aims? Why the need for such a journal?
3) In a recent paper, you quote biographer Henry Adams: “A few broad strokes of the brush would paint the portraits of all the early Presidents but Jefferson could be painted only touch by touch, with a fine pencil, and the perfection of the likeness depended upon the shifting and uncertain flicker of its semi-transparent shadows.” ...What precisely did Adams mean?
4) Was Jefferson a product of the enlightenment or was he just a genius? How did he relate his great depth and creativity to his political life?
5) Jefferson thought of his ascendancy to the presidency in 1800 as a second revolution, perhaps equally as important to the one that set off the drive for American independence. Why was that so?
6) You've said that you just moved to Lynchburg, VA. Is there a Jeffersonian reason for the move, or is there some other reason?
7) Do you think these recent smears against Jefferson are done because of a political agenda? Why has he become the fall guy? Was Thomas Jefferson a racist?
8) You mean that the “manifesto,” as you call it, moved you to Virginia? Is that right? Take us down your path—I mean, what precise course of events at Monticello forced your hand?
9) Isn’t that a change of mind from what the Thomas Jefferson Foundation said in 2000 concerning Jefferson’s affair with Sally Hemings?
10) A “sea change”? What do you mean? On what evidence does the Foundation claim that the relationship is now “factual”?
11) Will you debate revisionist Annette Gordon-Reed of Harvard, (the high priestess of the Hemings cult)?
12) We know that with all the work you’ve done on Jefferson that many scholars have called you the world’s foremost authority on Jefferson’s mind—none of your books is available at Monticello’s library... Is that really so??
13) What do you think of the books: Jeffersonian Legacies, by Peter Onuf, (of Jefferson's University of Virginia) & Thomas Jefferson: A Life, by William Sterne Randall?
14) How can people contact you if they wish you to speak at their college or university or business?
Facebook: Thomas Jefferson: Bring Him Home to Monticello
Contact President of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation:
(Leslie Bowman) email@example.com
***Ask why there is not open discussion and debate on the issues at Monticello when the facts are not settled based on the evidence.
- American Messiah: The Not-So-Radical Religious Views of Thomas Jefferson, University of Alabama, 2018
- Jefferson's Bible: Text with Introduction and Critical Commentary, DeGruyter, 2018
- Thomas Jefferson, Moralist, McFarland, 2017
- Jefferson’s Political Philosophy and the Metaphysics of Utopia, Brill, 2017
- Thomas Jefferson: The Man behind the Myths, (contributing co-editor with Brian Dotts, UGA), McFarland, 2017
- Thomas Jefferson’s Philosophy of Education: A Utopian Dream, Taylor & Francis, 2014
- Thomas Jefferson: Uncovering His Unique Philosophy and Vision, Prometheus Books, 2014
- Thomas Jefferson and Philosophy: Essays on the Philosophical Cast of Jefferson’s Writings, Lexington Books, 2013
- Framing a Legend: Exposing the Distorted History of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, Prometheus Books, 2013
- Dutiful Correspondent: Philosophical Essays on Thomas Jefferson, Rowman & Littlefield, 2013