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Ye Will Say I Am No Christian: The Thomas…

"Ye Will Say I Am No Christian": The Thomas Jefferson/John Adams…

by Bruce Braden

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Correspondence between Adams and Jefferson in their declining years shows that their minds remained as sharp as ever, and that they remained politically and socially engaged until the very end. The very knowledge that people once wrote letters like this makes me wonder how we lost so much intellectual curiosity. While I may disagree with some of the things they write and think about, just getting the chance to eavesdrop on such in depth conversations is stimulating (one letter that Adams referred to as trivial would put most graduate seminars to shame). Its a shame they were in a time where it was still accepted that the world was only 6000 years old; what sort of conversations could they have had today? ( )
  Devil_llama | Jan 25, 2015 |
Bruce Braden has done a masterful job of editing Ye Will Say I am No Christian: The Thomas Jefferson/John Adams Correspondence on Religion, Morals, and Values. Consisting largely of their private letters on these topics during the last twelve years of their lives, the level of erudition of these two gentlemen will leave one agape and wishing there were leaders in the world today who could compare. With their personal rifts healed, these retired presidents contemplated their own mortality and ranged over a vast number of topics throughout history and current events expressing surprisingly modern sensibilities. Their discussions on the nature of grief and Jefferson’s condolences on the loss of Abigail Adams were particularly moving. Braden’s detailed footnotes are helpful in filling in modern gaps in knowledge concern people and events that these two toss off as common knowledge, but which are lost to current awareness. This collection offers excellent insight for anyone interested in American history, ethics and religion. ( )
  varielle | May 1, 2009 |
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