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McDonald, Robert M. S.


Thomas Jefferson's Lives

Biographers and the Battle for History


Edited by Robert M. S. McDonald

Who was the "real" Thomas Jefferson? If this question has an answer, it will probably not be revealed reading the many accounts of his life. For two centuries biographers have provided divergent perspectives on him as a man and conflicting appraisals of his accomplishments. Jefferson was... More


Thomas Jefferson's Military Academy

Founding West Point


Robert M. S. McDonald

Why did Thomas Jefferson, who claimed to abhor war and fear standing armies, in 1802 establish the United States Military Academy? For more than two centuries this question has received scant attention, despite the significant contributions of both Jefferson and West Point to American history.... More


Confounding Father

Thomas Jefferson's Image in His Own Time


Robert M. S. McDonald

Of all the founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson stood out as the most controversial and confounding. Loved and hated, revered and reviled, during his lifetime he served as a lightning rod for dispute. Few major figures in American history provoked such a polarization of public opinion. One supporter... More


Sons of the Father

George Washington and His Protégés


Edited by Robert M. S. McDonald

Whether acting as a military officer or civilian officeholder, George Washington did not possess a reputation for glad handing, easy confidences, or even much warmth. His greatest attributes as a commander might well have been his firm command over his own emotions and the way in which he held... More


Light and Liberty

Thomas Jefferson and the Power of Knowledge


edited by Robert M. S. McDonald

Although Thomas Jefferson’s status as a champion of education is widely known, the essays in Light and Liberty make clear that his efforts to enlighten fellow citizens reflected not only a love of learning but also a love of freedom. Using as a starting point Jefferson's conviction that knowledge... More