O.P. Recommends: Jefferson on Redistribution by Clay Jenkinson

Thomas Jefferson by Charles Bird King, 1836, after Gilbert Stuart, at the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery, 2016 Amy Cools

Thomas Jefferson by Charles Bird King, 1836, after Gilbert Stuart, at the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery

A favorite podcast of mine is the Thomas Jefferson Hour, in which a TJ scholar and historical character actor named Clay Jenkinson holds weekly interviews and discusssions first in the character of Jefferson, then as himself as a scholar on T.J. and as a thinker in his own right. If you’re interested in American history, political philosophy, contemporary politics, and so on, you might really like this show. It’s not just about T.J. himself, but touches on all matter of topics since he lived such a long and influential life and remains such a controversial, brilliant, maddeningly inconsistent, and complex historical figure.

I found the episode on redistribution particularly interesting. Not only is it so relevant to today, but it reveals how Thomas Jefferson, in little-known and rarely cited letters to James Madison, revisits many of his own views in the light of the horrors he witnessed at the onset of the French Revolution.

Listen. You will like it.

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