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David Barton

Notes on the State of Thomas Jefferson

On the heels of a vigorous discussion of how best to tell the story of emancipation prompted by the November release of Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, an interesting debate on the legacy of Thomas Jefferson erupted online late last week.* While the Spielberg movie had clearly prompted the earlier discussion, the occasion for the Jefferson discussion was a bit more obscure, though all involved knew that Henry Wiencek’s Master of the Mountain was somehow the cause of the dispute. The foundation of this recent discussion about Jefferson seems to have been not Wiencek’s book itself (which appeared back in October), nor Read more