Cover image for The lost world of Thomas Jefferson : with a new preface
The lost world of Thomas Jefferson : with a new preface
Boorstin, Daniel J. (Daniel Joseph), 1914-2004.
Publication Information:
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, [1993]

Physical Description:
xiii, 306 pages ; 21 cm
General Note:
Originally published: New York : H. Holt, 1948.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
B878 .B6 1993 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



In this classic work by one of America's most distinguished historians, Daniel Boorstin enters into Thomas Jefferson's world of ideas. By analysing writings of 'the Jeffersonian Circle,' Boorstin explores concepts of God, nature, equality, toleration, education and government in order to illuminate their underlying world view. The Lost World of Thomas Jefferson demonstrates why on the 250th anniversary of his birth, this American leader's message has remained relevant to our national crises and grand concerns.

"The volume is too subtle, too rich in ideas for anyone to do justice to it in brief summary, too heavily documented and too carefully wrought for anyone to dismiss its thesis. . . . It is a major contribution not only to Jefferson studies but to American intellectual history. . . . All who work in the history of ideas will find themselves in Mr. Boorstin's debt."--Richard Hofstadter, South Atlantic Monthly

Author Notes

A prolific writer, Daniel Boorstin is the author of numerous scholarly and popular works in American Studies. Born in Georgia and raised in Oklahoma, Boorstin received degrees from Harvard and Yale universities and was a Rhodes Scholar at Balliol College, Oxford. A member of the Massachusetts Bar, he has been visiting professor of American History at the Universities of Rome, Puerto Rico, Kyoto, and Geneva. He was the first incumbent of the chair of American History at the Sorbonne and Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions at Cambridge. He taught at the University of Chicago for 25 years.

In 1959 Columbia University awarded him its Bancroft Prize for The Americans: The Colonial Experience (1958), the first volume of his trilogy titled The Americans. In 1966 he received the Francis Parkman Award for the second volume, The Americans: The National Experience (1965), and in 1974 he received the Pulitzer Prize for the third volume, The Americans: The Democratic Experience (1973). Many of Boorstin's books have been translated into Chinese, Japanese, and various European languages.

In 1969 Boorstin became director of the National Museum of History and Technology of the Smithsonian Institution. In 1973 he became senior historian at the Smithsonian. Boorstin was appointed Librarian of Congress in 1975 and served in that position with distinction for 12 years, becoming Librarian Emeritus in 1987.

(Publisher Provided)

Table of Contents

Preface to the 1993 Edition Preface
1 "The Influence of America on the Mind"
2 The Jeffersonian Circle
1 The Supreme Workman
1 Nature as the Work of Art
2 The Economy of Nature
3 The Apotheosis of Nature
2 The Equality of the Human Species
1 The Adaptability of Man
2 The Dispersion of the Human Species
3 Varieties of Mankind: the Indian and the Negro
4 The Fulfillment of Human Equality
3 The Physiology of Thought and Morals
1 "The made of Action Called Thinking"
2 The Happy Variety of Minds
3 The Perils of Metaphysics
4 The Moral Sense and the Life of Action
5 Jeffersonian Christianity
4 The Natural History of a New Society
1 Natural History and Political Science
2 The Use of Government
3 A Philosophy of Rights
4 The Sovereignty of the President Generation
5 The Quest for Useful Knowledge Conclusion
1 The Promise of Jeffersonian Thought
2 The God of the Republic