These are times when the word democracy is being used over and over again. Sometimes it rolls off our tongues so easily that we hardly stop to think what it means. But when we become acquainted with Thomas Jefferson, we understand democracy in a very real and personal way, for throughout his life Jefferson lived democracy.
In his new book about Thomas Jefferson, Vincent Sheean introduces us to Jefferson as a warm vibrant personality. We feel his friendliness, his thoughtfulness, his brilliance; we note the amazing variety of his interests; we admire his courage in voicing his convictions in a day when those convictions were often very unpopular.
For when Jefferson was a young man, feeling ran high in the thirteen colonies. Should they accept the tyranny of George III and his Tory Ministers? The undercurrent of protest grew louder with every hour. But to Thomas Jefferson and his friends, protest was not enough. In place of tyranny, there must be freedom for all. In place of the rule of a king there must be the rule of the people- all people equally. To such principles Thomas Jefferson devoted his life. As a member of Congress and of the Virginia legislature, as Governor of Virginia, as diplomat abroad, and as President of the United States he fought for the rights of all men.
These rights are clearly stated in the Declaration of Independence and the Virginia Statute of Religious Liberty, both written by Jefferson. They are vividly interpreted in Thomas Jefferson, Father of Democracy by Vincent Sheean.
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