Contact: Yvonne French (202) 707-9191

June 1, 1999

New Book About Jefferson and Education Published by the Library of Congress

Thomas Jefferson and the Education of a Citizen, a 383-page volume containing papers by 18 scholars, has been published by the Library. The volume was edited by James Gilreath, formerly of the Library's Rare Book and Special Collections Division.

The papers, which address the issue of education and preparation for citizenship that underlies a free society as Jefferson perceived it, were presented at a conference at the Library of Congress in 1993. The supporters of the meeting, which commemorated Jefferson's 250th birthday, were the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the Library's Rare Book and Special Collections Division, and the Institute of Early American History and Culture in Williamsburg, Va. The Library's James Madison Council also provided funding for the symposium.

"These papers deal with a topic -- Jefferson, education and citizenship -- that has not been widely discussed or written about," said Center for the Book Director John Y. Cole, who contributed the volume's preface. "James Gilreath recognized this gap and persuaded a distinguished group of historians to share their views at the conference and in these essays."

The book is organized into five sections. The essay topics and authors are listed below.

The Public and Private Spheres. "Citizens and Families: A Jeffersonian Vision of Domestic Relations and Generational Change" (Michael Grossberg); "Binding Ties: The Public and Domestic Spheres in Jefferson's Letters to His Family" (Frank Shuffelton); "Beyond Education: Thomas Jefferson's 'Republican' Revision of the Laws Regarding Children" (Holly Brewer); "Jefferson, the Family, and Civic Education" (Jan Lewis).

An Informed Citizenry. "Jefferson and Literacy" (Douglas L. Wilson); "Bulwark of Revolutionary Liberty: Thomas Jefferson's and John Adams's Programs for an Informed Citizenry" (Richard D. Brown); "Thomas Jefferson and Legal Education in Revolutionary America" (Herbert A. Johnson); "'That Knowledge Most Useful to Us': Thomas Jefferson's Concept of Utility in the Education of Republican Citizens" (Jennings L. Wagoner, Jr.); "Education and Democracy: Summary and Comment" (Benjamin A. Barber).

Influence of the Old and New Worlds. "Thomas Jefferson and the Old World: Personal Experience in the Formation of Early Republican Ideals" (Elizabeth Wirth Marvick); "Why Slaves Can't Read: The Political Significance of Jefferson's Racism" (James Oakes); "Thomas Jefferson's Dualistic Perceptions of Native Americans" (Donald A. Grinde, Jr.); "The Old and the New Worlds: Summary and Comment" (C. Vann Woodward).

A Republic of Citizens. "Citizenship and Change in Jefferson's Constitutional Thought" (David N. Mayer); "Liberty and Virtue: Religion and Republicanism in Jeffersonian Thought" (Eugene R. Sheridan); "Ward Republics: The Wisest Invention for Self-Government" (Suzanne W. Morse).

An International Perspective. "The Education of Those Who Govern" (Ralph Ketcham); "Thomas Jefferson and His Conception of Happiness" (Liu Zuochang).

Partial funding for the publication of Thomas Jefferson and the Education of a Citizen came from private contributions to the Center for the Book and from a cooperative agreement between the Center for the Book and the U.S. Department of Education.

Thomas Jefferson and the Education of a Citizen is available in the Library of Congress Sales Shop and from the University Press of New England, which is distributing the book for the Library of Congress. The price of the hardbound book is $40. Credit card orders may be placed with the Library of Congress Sales Shop by calling (202) 707-0204. Orders from the University Press of New England may be placed by telephone (1-800-421-1561), fax (603-643-1540) or e-mail: University.Press@Dartmouth.edu.

The Center for the Book was established by law in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books, reading and libraries. Its program and publications are supported by contributions from individuals, corporations, foundations and other government agencies. For information about the Center for the Book, visit its Web site at http://www.loc.gov/loc/cfbook.

# # #

PR 99-083
6/1/99
ISSN 0731-3527

Back to top