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Jefferson and Civil Liberties: The Darker Side

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  23 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 255 pages
Published August 1st 1989 by Ivan R. Dee Publisher (first published January 28th 1972)
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David Eppenstein
Jul 07, 2015 David Eppenstein rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Bertport
Nov 09, 2013 Bertport rated it it was amazing
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". Wikipedia'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 ...more
P
Sep 02, 2014 P rated it really liked it
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 ...more
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Leonard W. Levy (April 9, 1923 – August 24, 2006) was the Andrew W. Mellon All-Claremont Professor of Humanities and Chairman of the Graduate Faculty of History at Claremont Graduate School, California. He was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and educated at Columbia University, where his mentor for the Ph.D. degree was Henry Steele Commager.

Levy's most honored book was his 1968 study Origins of
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