This is terribly impolite, but is anyone else filled with ressentiment by smug young Ivy League bloggers? I’m not one very much for the politics of cultural resentment, but I do think Jefferson would really despise our current square-framed-glasses-wearing urban elite.
On the other hand, the mega-city post is interesting in a frightening way, so maybe an equilibrium is reached between irritation and edification.
Ivy League? I confess. Square framed glasses? Only when I’m too sleepy for contacts. Urban elite? Sure. Filled with "ressentiment?" Never. Okay, sometimes. But thanks for the mixed review.
As for Thomas Jefferson, I visted Monticello for the fist time over Memorial Day weekend and highly recommend it. Since DNA evidence conclusively linked a Jefferson male to the children of Sally Hemmings, who was enslaved on the plantation, the foundation that runs Monticello has worked to humanize Jefferson’s slaves. Yes, he allowed his overseer to beat them. Yes, he sold husbands away from wives. Yes, he publicly humiliated runaways. And Jefferson was thought of, both in his own time and now, as the model of a benevolent slave-owner.
Of course, slave-owning was never benevolent. But that historical truth hasn’t penetrated in the Florida panhandle, where two weeks ago I toured the plantation Goodwood and was told by the otherwise excellent guide that the 200 enslaved people there were "actually more like family than slaves." Uh-huh.