Cover image for Thomas Jefferson : statesman of science
Title:
Thomas Jefferson : statesman of science
Author:
Bedini, Silvio A.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Macmillan, [1990]

©1990
Physical Description:
xviii, 616 pages, 24 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780028970417
Format :
Book

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E332.2 .B37 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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E332.2 .B37 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
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Reviews 1

Choice Review

Bedini (Smithsonian Institution) accents Jefferson's scientific pursuits, but places them in the context of the rest of his life, from youth to old age. One may hesitate to subscribe to the author's definition of scientist ("one professionally trained in the sciences who earns more than half his income from their pursuit"), in that it would rule out not only Jefferson but Franklin and Priestley, to take but two other prime examples. Given the multiplicity of interests of the leading figures of the Enlightenment, applying this arbitrary definition to that age is anachronistic. Be that as it may, Bedini shows how Jefferson's many well-known scientific interests--from architecture, to mold-board plow, to his presidency of the American Philosophical Society--fit into his many other responsibilities. Written in felicitous prose and with cogent illustrations, this immensely satisfying book will take its place next to Daniel Boorstin's study of Jefferson's scientific circle (The Lost World of Thomas Jefferson, 1948), the full biographical studies of Dumas Malone (Jefferson and His Time, 1948), and Merrill Peterson (Thomas Jefferson and the New Nation, CH, Sep'70) as well as the many older works devoted to this endlessly fascinating philosophe of the American Enlightenment. All libraries. -E. Cassara, emeritus, George Mason University