How Best to Lead?

The Wall Street Journal recently reviewed Sons of the Father: George Washington and His Protégés, a “stimulating collection” of essays that “explores Washington’s relationships with a series of younger men” including Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, the Marquis de Lafayette, Henry Knox, and Nathanael Greene. Its editor, Robert M. S. McDonald, is associate professor of history at West Point. In the following essay, McDonald reminds us of the very full range of Washington’s leadership.

A School That Would Be Different

Rot, Riot, and Rebellion: Mr. Jefferson’s Struggle to Save the University that Changed America is the fascinating history of the early days of the University of Virginia and how the institution’s survival was hardly a foregone conclusion. The book has recently received good reviews from both the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal and is now the subject of a feature in the University of Virginia Magazine. In the following piece, coauthor Carlos Santos considers how Thomas Jefferson’s insistence on separation of church and state extended to the university he founded, a radical idea in a time when religious instruction was central in higher education.

Critics considered Thomas Jefferson’s unorthodox views of Christianity evil as hell fire. Political enemies dubbed him an “audacious howling Atheist.” Ministers called him a tool of French secularism, while others argued that declaring for Jefferson was declaring for no God.

Elected president in 1800, tradition holds that the women of New England hid their Bibles in wells, convinced that Jefferson, aided by his atheistic allies, would fuel bonfires with the Good Book.

New Jefferson Papers documents in Founding Era collection

Thanks to the ongoing “Early Access” transcription program at Documents Compass, we are adding over 16,000 new documents from the Papers of Thomas Jefferson: 9951 documents from the original series, from July 1804 to 3 March 1809 (his last day as president) 6188 documents from the Retirement Series, covering January 1819 to the date of [...]

McDowell on NBC

Deborah McDowell, director of the Carter G. Woodson Institute, talked to our local NBC affiliate about her new book, The Punitive Turn: New Approaches to Race and Incarceration. Drawing its content from a conference hosted at the University of Virginia in 2009, the book not only addresses prison growth and its consequences, but also presents statistics that force us to wonder who benefits when so many people are behind bars.

The River of Change

As part of this year’s University Press Week, we are proud to join 36 other university presses in a blog tour that will touch on some of the most pressing issues in our industry. Blogging along with us today are Harvard University PressStanford University Press, the University of Texas Press, Duke University Press,  Temple University Press, and the University of Minnesota Press. A schedule for the entire week is here. Today’s theme is the future of scholarly publishing, so we turned to Holly Shulman, who served as editor of The Dolley Madison Digital Edition, the first publication under our electronic imprint, and coeditor of Rotunda’s latest title, People of the Founding Era.

When The Skies Looked Dark

This week Iran sat down with representatives from the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany—as part of the P5+1 meeting—to discuss plans to scale back its nuclear program. It is hoped that the talks result not only in a plan acceptable to all parties but a new openness in communication between Iran and the world. So far the signs have been positive. R. K. Ramazani, renowned Iran scholar and author of Independence without Freedom: Iran’s Foreign Policy, already contributed some thoughts on new Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, and now he looks more closely at Iran’s relations with the United States.