As the EU approves a second bailout for the failing Greek economy, we thought it would be a good time to hear from historians John P. Kaminski and Richard Leffler. Their most recent project, an English-language edition of Jürgen Heideking’s The Constitution before the Judgment Seat, reveals many compelling parallels between Europe’s current fiscal challenges and those faced by the founders in the days of the early republic.
This being the week of President’s Day, we thought we would ask one of our favorite authors, Annette Gordon-Reed, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hemingses of Monticello and Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy, about her recent reading on the third president.
Q: We at UVA Press, along with Maurizio Valsania, were delighted to learn that you were reading his latest book, The Limits of Optimism: Thomas Jefferson’s Dualistic Enlightenment. How did you come to his work?
Gordon-Reed: My good friend Peter Onuf of the University of Virginia had read the book in manuscript and suggested I read it.
Q: Jefferson is well known as an enlightenment thinker. Did anything in Valsania’s book surprise you?
Gordon-Reed: Well, it’s such a fresh take on Jefferson. It moves beyond the “He was a man of contradictions” approach. That is true, but as Valsania shows, a lot of what Jefferson says and does hangs together.
To celebrate Joseph Donohue’s new translation of Oscar Wilde’s Salomé the Press recently collaborated with the university’s drama department on a staged reading of the one-act play. You can watch a clip from the performance here. CNN blogger Eric Marrapodi attended the event, and his report—including an illuminating interview with Donohue—has just been posted on CNN’s Belief Blog. [...]