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Short Synopsis
In The Jefferson Rule, historian David Sehat describes how liberals, conservatives, secessionists, unionists, civil rights leaders, radicals, and libertarians have sought out the Founding Fathers to defend their policies.

Full Synopsis
Beginning with the debate between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton over the future of the nation and continuing through the Civil War, the New Deal, the Reagan Revolution, and Obama and the Tea Party, many pols have asked, "What would the Founders do?" instead of "What is the common good today?" Recently, both the Right and the Left have used the Founders to sort through such issues as voting rights, campaign finance, free speech, gun control, taxes, and war and peace. They have used an outdated context to make sense of contemporary concerns.

This oversimplification obscures our real issues. From Jefferson to this very day we have looked to the eighteenth century to solve our problems, even though the Fathers themselves were a querulous and divided group who rarely agreed. Coming to terms with the past, David Sehat suggests, would be the start of a productive debate. And in this account, which is by turns informative, colorful, and witty, he shows us why.

"Highly recommended for political junkies, historians, and rhetoricians." ---Library Journal Starred Review

"Sehat ably shows how the exploitation of the founders debases political debate and neglects policy evaluation---required reading for those desperate for sane, intelligent political arguments." ---Kirkus Starred Review
Library Journal Review

Kirkus Review

The Jefferson Rule

How the Founding Fathers Became Infallible and Our Politics Inflexible

Author David Sehat

Narrated by Tom Perkins

Publication date May 5, 2015

Running time 8 hrs 11 min

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