Thomas Jefferson’s Enlightenment: Paris 1785 by James C. Thompson


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Author: James C. Thompson | Show Publication detailsHide Publication details

Cloth Edition
  • ISBN: 978-0-9854863-1-0
  • Library of Congress Control Number: 2013938399
  • Publication Date: February 18, 2014
Paperback Edition:
  • ISBN: 978-0-9854863-9-6
  • Library of Congress Control Number: 2013916199
  • Publication Date: September 15, 2014
  • Dust Jacket: Color
  • Color
  • Portrait: 9.25 x 12.25
  • Pages: 166
  • Images: 168
  • Weight: 2.4
  • Color
  • Portrait: 8.5 x 11.0
  • Pages: 166
  • Images: 168
  • Weight: 1.2

    The man readers meet in this colorful book is not like the monument they learned about in school. Author James Thompson retraces Thomas Jefferson’s transformation from a political loner into a political leader in a new kind of history—a non-fiction narrative. Thompson does not recount what Jefferson did in France. He puts his readers in Jefferson’s company and lets them watch “the mountain man from the American frontier” change in their presence.

    Readers see the things Jefferson saw while perusing 168 museum quality reproductions of period maps, Parisian scenes, and portraits of the lumieres who welcomed the untraveled American into the salons of pre-revolutionary Paris. Readers accompany Pierre Cabanis and his aspiring protégé to public gardens, the theatre, salons, the grain exchange, and along the bustling, stinking thoroughfares of the French capital. They accompany Jefferson as he settles into the most elegant—and debauched—society in the world.

    Because they are with Jefferson as Cabanis instructs him on the French concept of Progress, they understand how Jefferson became its agent and how his new vision of himself and his role in the world prepared the “Father of the Enlightenment in America” for the political contest he entered when he returned home.

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