In this classic work by one of America's most distinguished historians, Daniel Boorstin enters into Thomas Jefferson's world of ideas. By analysing writings of 'the Jeffersonian Circle,' Boorstin explores concepts of God, nature, equality, toleration, education and government in order to illuminate their underlying world view. The Lost World of Thomas Jefferson demonstrates why on the 250th anniversary of his birth, this American leader's message has remained relevant to our national crises and grand concerns.
"The volume is too subtle, too rich in ideas for anyone to do justice to it in brief summary, too heavily documented and too carefully wrought for anyone to dismiss its thesis. . . . It is a major contribution not only to Jefferson studies but to American intellectual history. . . . All who work in the history of ideas will find themselves in Mr. Boorstin's debt."—Richard Hofstadter, South Atlantic Monthly
Thomas Jefferson's fame and continued popularity does not depend upon the marvelous personal example he set, as does George Washington's, or upon the remarkable leadership qualities he displayed during the darkest national hours, like Abraham Lincoln's. Instead, he is revered for presenting a unique world-view. Daniel J. Boorstin provides a rich intellectual history of Jefferson's personal and political philosophy: "My purpose has been to get inside the Jeffersonian world of ideas--to see the relation among their conceptions of God, nature, equality, toleration, education, and government.... In a word, I have been more concerned to recapture the Jeffersonian world of ideas than to perform an autopsy on it." Although this particular book is a bit more academic than others by the same author, Boorstin capably explains why Jefferson's voice still resonates long after his passing. --John J. Miller