#1325 Pax Americana
The most mail we received was about Robert Kagan's new book, The Jungle Grows Back, which Tom Friedman of The New York Times called "An incisive, elegantly written, new book about America’s unique role in the world."
The Thomas Jefferson Hour features conversations with Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, as portrayed by the award-winning humanities scholar and author, Clay Jenkinson. The weekly discussion features Mr. Jefferson’s views on events of his time, contemporary issues facing America and answers to questions submitted by his many listeners. To ask President Jefferson a question visit his website at www.jeffersonhour.com
#1323 The Only Security of All Is in a Free Press
This week we discuss the importance of a free press with President Jefferson. "were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter." — Thomas Jefferson, 1787
#1318 Was Thomas Jefferson a Christian?
We wish all a Merry Christmas from The Thomas Jefferson Hour, which, as it turns out, is perhaps more than Thomas Jefferson would have done. Jefferson was not a believer in celebrating Christmas in a traditional fashion and felt it should not be a national holiday.
#1314 Our Friend Beau
"Whatever your politics are, to think that the country is being taken seriously by young men and women who want us to be a Jeffersonian republic is just such a gratifying thing to me." — Clay S. Jenkinson We greet a special visitor, our friend Beau Wright. Beau traveled from Lynchburg, Virginia to join us at the studio for a fruitful and interesting conversation about American ideals.
#1313 Gratitude and Thanks
We wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving from the Thomas Jefferson Hour. This week, we speak to four friends including Lisa Suhay, who tells us about her new book America the Grateful; Pat Brodowski, the head gardener at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello; luthier Kevin Muiderman, who gives us an update on the ukulele he is building for Clay; and Nashville-based songwriter Brad Crisler, who tells us about his plans for Thanksgiving in Alabama.
#1311 Jefferson's Views
"This is a French school of economics and social thinking that I subscribed to, at least in part, that says that wealth comes from the soil" — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson President Jefferson answers listener questions about Jefferson as a guide for our troubled times, Jefferson’s views on slavery, and his thoughts on J. Hector St. John de Crèvecœur's Letters from an American Farmer, published in 1782.
#1310 Valley Forge with Bob Drury and Tom Clavin
Valley Forge was the darkest moment of the revolutionary war. Twelve thousand American troops were stationed at a place 23 miles northwest of Philadelphia. If there could be suffering, they felt it at Valley Forge — nearly starving, mutiny, disease, internecine struggles, you name it. Of all of the people who have a role in this great story, Thomas Jefferson is not one of them, and for that reason, all of those present never quite felt that Jefferson was fully one of the band of brothers.
#1309 Water for a Dry Land with Char Miller
Drop Jefferson into western Kansas or Oklahoma. What does he say about the Ogallala miracle? The Ogallala aquifer is a huge underground water resource which stretches from South Dakota all the way to Texas — an underground lake the size of Lake Huron that most people have never heard of.
#1307 Live in Pittsburg, KS
Thomas Jefferson goes on the road this week to Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas. The performance was taped live at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts on September 15, 2018 in front of an audience of over 500 people. The event was hosted by Dustin Treiber, the program director of Four States Public Radio station KRPS.
We speak with President Thomas Jefferson (as portrayed by humanities scholar Clay S. Jenkinson) about reading - one of his favorite pastimes. We also talk about the teachers who inspired his lifelong habit of reading and Jefferson’s fascination with the Ossian, first published by the Scottish poet James Macpherson in 1760.
#1305 Wine and Welshmen
"We should always listen to science. Science is not political. Science is rational." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson President Thomas Jefferson answers listener questions this week, including inquiries about Jefferson and wine, Welsh “Indians” in the Dakotas, repairing friendships, and the idea that “the rain followed the plow” during Jefferson’s time.
#1304 To France
"This period was, in some ways, the most satisfying period of Jefferson's life, and in some ways it was the most radical." — Clay S. Jenkinson This week, as promised, and in anticipation of Clay’s upcoming cultural tour of Jefferson’s France in October 2019, we devote an entire show to discussion of Jefferson’s time as Minister to France from 1784 to 1789.
#1303 Can We Talk?
"He saw a nation that collapsed right in front of him and he thought, 'well, I wonder why nations collapse,' and I think that really led to some great thinking." — Clay S. Jenkinson We respond to listener mail this week, including questions related to the principle of one-person one-vote, and we discuss replies to Clay’s request for some thoughtful conservative perspectives from listeners who support the Trump administration.
#1302 Alarm Poll
"I'm like everyone else, I'm in the middle. I see some benefits on both edges of the spectrum, but I don't want either of them to prevail." — Clay S. Jenkinson Clay asked listeners to rate, on a scale of 1 to 10, how alarmed they are about the current state of political affairs in the United States. Rather than just giving a number, many listeners responded with many thoughtful letters. This week we share and read portions from 17 of those letters.
#1301 Farewell Address
"George Washington ... was as close to a perfect human being as we believed existed on Earth." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson This week, we speak with President Jefferson about George Washington's farewell address which was first published in Philadelphia's American Daily Advertiser on September 19, 1796, 222 years ago.
#1300 Better Arguments
"Can we talk? Can we try to argue about where we are and where we're going and use the founders as a source of wisdom that might allow us to have a safe place to meet and to talk about this with civility, but with fervor?" — Joseph J. Ellis Clay and David discuss how to conduct better arguments, and also speak with author Joseph Ellis to talk about his new book American Dialogue, which will be released this fall.
"I would have been able to produce an account of that tour — and I mean no self-aggrandizement in saying this, but just from the sheer discipline of writing every day at great length — would have been one of the classics of the literature of exploration." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson
#1298 As Requested
"You have to wait 14 years under the naturalization law before you can become a full citizen of the United States. These were palpable violations of the Bill of Rights." — Clay S. Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson We spend this week, as requested, responding to submitted questions and correcting some factual errors pointed out by our listeners.
#1295 Too Né
"Too Né's data wound up in the journals and all of it is on the map, and the map deepens the journals, and the journals deepen the map." — Clay S. Jenkinson This week on the Thomas Jefferson Hour, we feature an extended conversation about the recently discovered map from the Lewis and Clark Expedition drawn by an Indigenous guide named Too Né.
#1294 Judicial Responsibility
"You want people who are moderates, who are not passionate zealots in any particular direction." — Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson Thomas Jefferson shares his thoughts about the workings of the Supreme Court, allows his personal irritations with the court to show, and explains how he feels the court has drifted from its rightful place in America today.