Jefferson and Civil Liberties: The Darker Side

Jefferson and Civil Liberties The Darker Side In the most controversial analysis ever written of the apostle of American liberty the distinguished constitutional historian Leonard W Levy examines Jefferson s record on civil liberties and finds i

  • Title: Jefferson and Civil Liberties: The Darker Side
  • Author: Leonard W. Levy
  • ISBN: 9780929587110
  • Page: 228
  • Format: Paperback
  • In the most controversial analysis ever written of the apostle of American liberty, the distinguished constitutional historian Leonard W Levy examines Jefferson s record on civil liberties and finds it strikingly wanting Clearing away the saintliness that surrounds the hero, Mr Levy tries to understand why the unfamiliar Jefferson supported loyalty oaths countenanced iIn the most controversial analysis ever written of the apostle of American liberty, the distinguished constitutional historian Leonard W Levy examines Jefferson s record on civil liberties and finds it strikingly wanting Clearing away the saintliness that surrounds the hero, Mr Levy tries to understand why the unfamiliar Jefferson supported loyalty oaths countenanced internment camps for political suspects drafted a bill of attainder urged prosecutions for seditious libel condoned military despotism used the Army to enforce laws in time of peace censored reading chose professors for their political opinions and endorsed the doctrine that means, however odious, are justified by ends Implicitly, Mr Levy writes, this book is a study of libertarian leadership in time of power and time of dangerJefferson should be seen by his biographers as a whole man in the perspective of his times, but my task is to determine the validity of his historical reputation as the apostle of liberty Blunt words and blunt facts indispensable book Commentary.

    One thought on “Jefferson and Civil Liberties: The Darker Side”

    1. The late author of this book went to great length in two separate prefaces to layout the criticisms his book received from the Jefferson scholars of note. He also responds to their criticisms in equal length. Suffice it to say the criticisms seem to be primarily that the author based his scathing assault on this deified Founder on assorted trivialities and that it is unfair to apply contemporary standards to the behavior of a historical figure especially one as great as TJ. In recent decades it [...]

    2. If the rehabilitation of Burr traces back to Gore Vidal,then it goes further back, to Leonard W. Levy's 1963 "Jefferson and Civil Liberties: The Darker Side", which was Vidal's sole citation in a postscript in lieu of a bibliography in his "Burr". 's article on Levy asserts that this book "began the modern reconsideration of Jefferson's historical reputation." In the process of provoking such a tidal shift, this book made an unwelcome splash amongst historians of the day. (The cover of the paper [...]

    3. Though not nearly as controversial as upon its initial publication, it's nonetheless shocking to have the hagiolatric reputation of Jefferson as the embodiment of civil liberty wrecked and the man himself revealed historically in all his hypocritical, egomaniacal, craven and despotic vindictiveness. It's safe to say St. Thomas's defense of civil libertarianism extended only so far as (derivative) inscribed philosophical abstractions, quickly forgotten in the hardships of active political leaders [...]

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