Author Talk: Kevin Gutzman, “The Jeffersonians”

Tuesday, September 5th @ 7:00pm:  Join us for a very special program with Kevin R. C. Gutzman, author of The Jeffersonians: The Visionary Presidencies of Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe.  Before the consecutive two-term administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, there had only been one other trio of its type: Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe.  Gutzman’s The Jeffersonians is a complete chronicle of the men, known as The Virginia Dynasty, who served as president from 1801 to 1825 and implemented the foreign policy, domestic and constitutional agenda of the radical wing of the American Revolution, setting guideposts for later American liberals to follow.

The three close political allies were tightly related: Jefferson and Madison were the closest of friends, and Monroe was Jefferson’s former law student. Their achievements were many, including the founding of the opposition Republican Party in the 1790s; the Louisiana Purchase; and the call upon Congress in 1806 to use its constitutional power to ban slave imports beginning on January 1, 1808.  Of course, not everything the Virginia Dynasty undertook was a success: Its chief failure might have been the ineptly planned and led War of 1812. In general, however, when Monroe rode off into the sunset in 1825, his passing and the end of The Virginia Dynasty were much lamented. Gutzman’s book details a time in America when three Presidents worked toward common goals to strengthen our Republic in a way we rarely see in American politics today.

Kevin R.C. Gutzman is Professor of History at Western Connecticut State University and a faculty member at He has his law degree from the University of Texas Law School and his Ph.D. in American history from the University of Virginia. His books include Thomas Jefferson – RevolutionaryJames Madison and the Making of AmericaVirginia’s American Revolution; and, with Thomas Woods, Who Killed the Constitution?

Learn more and register here.

(Photo credit: Lifetouch Portrait Studios Inc)

This program is part of the ongoing First Principles Series co-sponsored by the Ridgefield Library, the Ridgefield Historical Society, the League of Women Voters of Ridgefield, Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center and the Cannon Ridge Chapter of the DAR.