For a Kinder, Gentler Society
Thomas Jefferson: Thoughts on War and Revolution
  • Brett F. Woods
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Thomas Jefferson: Thoughts on War and Revolution.
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While Jefferson is responsible for a voluminous body of literature, this is the first time an editor has focused principally on his comments regarding war and revolution.

Presented for the interest of a general readership as well as for students of military, diplomatic, or political history, the format of the selected letters, as Jefferson wrote them, is preserved whenever possible.

The addressees are identified, particularly those who have been lost to history, and, where indicated, explanatory notes are provided to assist the reader in placing the correspondence in its particular historical, political, or conceptual context; readers are encouraged to arrive at their own conclusions as to the intention of a particular piece of correspondence.

About the Author

Brett F. Woods is a professor of history for the American Public University System. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Essex, England.

He has written widely on political, military, and diplomatic history, with his work appearing in numerous academic and mainstream publications including the Canadian Journal of History, the Asian Studies Review, the California Literary Review, and the Richmond Review (London). He is a regular contributor to ABC-CLIO’s military and political history reference collections and maintains an active research agenda, primarily directed to the Anglo-American colonial experience and British imperial studies.

Dr. Woods has published five books with Algora: Thomas Jefferson: Diplomatic Correspondence, Paris, 1784–1789 (2016); Abraham Lincoln: Letters to His Generals, 1861–1865 (2013); Thomas Jefferson: Thoughts on War and Revolution (2009), Neutral Ground: A Political History of Espionage Fiction (2007), and Letters from France: The Private Diplomatic Correspondence of Benjamin Franklin, 1776–1785 (2006).

His associations have included The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, the American Historical Association; and the North American Conference on British Studies, among others.

About the Book

Philosopher, diplomat, politician, inventor, writer, architect, even gardener, from a historical perspective Thomas Jefferson emerges as an extraordinary individual — one who was clearly many things to many people. But, too, precisely because...

Philosopher, diplomat, politician, inventor, writer, architect, even gardener, from a historical perspective Thomas Jefferson emerges as an extraordinary individual — one who was clearly many things to many people. But, too, precisely because of these same collective endeavors, he has become so much a part of America’s ongoing search for itself, so deeply entwined in the tapestry of America’s grand democratic experiment, that, in many instances, succeeding generations have been largely unable to picture him clearly and objectively in his own life and times.

The most comprehensive portrait of the founding fathers can be seen in their personal letters and journal entries. Jefferson is no exception, and those he wrote concerning war and revolution — through many of the most critical episodes in early American history — are of singular importance. The format of the letters has been preserved whenever possible and, collectively, they provide a unique glimpse into the character and thought processes of Jefferson, warrior and revolutionary.

Whether he is writing to peers such as James Madison, Patrick Henry, and George Washington; to French associates such as the Marquis de Lafayette and Hector St. John de Crevecoeur; or even to British adversaries such as the American traitor Benedict Arnold, and Sir Guy Carleton, the British Governor of Canada, Jefferson demonstrates a striking understanding of the issues. And whether the subject might be an argument for national retaliation, the treatment of prisoners of war, or the application of blockades in naval engagements, he writes with remarkable clarity, insight, and eloquence.

As the text presents, in their entirety, the original written correspondence which succeeding generations of historians have repeatedly cited as the basis for the interpretation of events or conclusions of fact, Thoughts on War and Revolution is both a comprehensive reference resource, as well as a unique supplement to the existing literature.


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Pages 300
Year: 2008
LC Classification: U22.J43
Dewey code: 973.4'6092--dc22
BISAC: HIS036030 HISTORY / United States / Revolutionary Period (1775-1800)
BISAC: BIO011000 BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Presidents & Heads of State
Soft Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-636-9
Price: USD 22.95
Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-637-6
Price: USD 32.95
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ISBN: 978-0-87586-638-3
Price: USD 32.95
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