Light and Liberty: Reflections on the Pursuit of Happiness

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Random House Publishing Group, 1. 6. 2004 - Počet stran: 176
Were Thomas Jefferson alive to read this book, he would recognize every sentence, every elegant turn of phrase, every lofty, beautifully expressed idea. Indeed, every word in the book is his. In an astonishing feat of editing, Eric S. Petersen has culled the entirety of Thomas Jefferson’s published works to fashion thirty-four original essays on themes ranging from patriotism and liberty to hope, humility, and gratitude. The result is a lucid, inspiring distillation of the wisdom of one of America’s greatest political thinkers.

From his personal motto—“Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God”—to his resounding discourse on “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson defined the essential truth of the American spirit. In the essays that Petersen has crafted from letters, speeches, and public documents, Jefferson’s unique moral philosophy and vision shine through. Among the hundreds of magnificent sentences gathered in this volume, here are Jefferson’s pronouncements on

Gratitude: “I have but one system of ethics for men and for nations—
to be grateful, to be faithful to all engagements and under all circumstances, to be open and generous.”

Religion: “A concern purely between our God and our consciences.”

America’s national character: “It is part of the American character to consider nothing as desperate; to surmount every difficulty with resolution and contrivance.”

Public debt: “We shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves.”

War: “I abhor war and view it as the greatest scourge of mankind.”

In stately measured cadences, these thirty-four essays provide timeless guidance on leading a spiritually fulfilling life. Light and Liberty is a triumphant work of supreme eloquence, as uplifting today as when Jefferson first set these immortal sentences on paper.

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Light and liberty: reflections on the pursuit of happiness

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In the vein of The Jefferson Bible, lawyer Petersen (Hawkins, Delafield & Wood) has attempted to distill the best of Jefferson's copious personal correspondence and public writings into one thin ... Přečíst celou recenzi

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Obsah

Frmsss
13
CHEERFULN ESS
16
GRATITUDE
19
SINCERITY
22
Nor THIRSTING FOR GAIN
25
SEEING THE GOOD
28
sUs
34
llATURES BEAUTY
37
LIBERTY
68
DREAMING THE IMPOSSIBLE
76
ONENESS
79
HoPE
82
LIEE ACCEPTANCE
86
SELEGIVING
90
PORGIVENESS
93
LOVE
97

HUMILITY
40
SACRIFICE
43
BEING TRUE TO YOURSELF
46
SELFPERFECTION
49
Dome WHAT Is RIGHT
52
SIMPLICITY
55
L1v1NG IN THE PRESENT
58
ENTHUSIASM
61
PATRIOTISM
65
PATIENCE
100
SELFD1sc1PL111E
103
Nor FEARING Loss
106
SILENCE
109
TRUTH SEEKING
112
PEAQE PRAYER
115
CHRONOLOGY
120
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Oblíbené pasáže

Strana 78 - All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that, though the will of the majority is, in all cases, to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable ; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate which would be oppression.
Strana 53 - ... militia, our best reliance in peace and for the first moments of war, till regulars may relieve them; the supremacy of the civil over the military authority; economy in the public expense, that labor may be lightly burdened; the honest payment of our debts, and sacred preservation of the public faith...
Strana 37 - Nature intended me for the tranquil pursuits of science, by rendering them my supreme delight. But the enormities of the times in which I have lived, have forced me to take part in resisting them, and to commit myself on the boisterous ocean of political passions.
Strana 125 - Almighty God hath created the mind free, and manifested his supreme will that free it shall remain by making it altogether insusceptible of restraint; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments, or burthens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion...
Strana 126 - ... truth is great and will prevail if left to herself; that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them...
Strana 34 - Behold, here I am ; witness against me before the Lord, and before his anointed ; whose ox have I taken ? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded ? whom have I oppressed ? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith ? and I will restore it you. And they said, Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken aught of any man's hand.
Strana 29 - CALLED upon to undertake the duties of the first executive office of our country, I avail myself of the presence of that portion of my fellow-citizens which is here assembled, to express my grateful thanks for the favor with which they have been pleased to look...
Strana xii - Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.
Strana 51 - The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God. The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty Gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

O autorovi (2004)

ERIC S. PETERSEN is a managing partner at the New York law firm of Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP. Educated at Brown University and the University of Chicago Law School, he has studied Jefferson’s life and works since 1993. He lives in Connecticut and can be reached at www.lightandliberty.org.

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