Introduction from the Editor   

Most in my acquaintance fondly wish to see the standard of our country raised to the level set by her founders. Nowhere is that lofty standard more beautifully and powerfully articulated than in the writings of Thomas Jefferson. Here was born and here breathes the vision of America we treasure.

In undertaking this project, my goal was to make Jefferson approachable and his penetrating insight easily assimilable for Americans today. Each of the 34 short chapters is a monogram on a universally acknowledged virtue or good quality, comprised solely of Thomas Jefferson’s words drawn from his 20,000 letters, speeches, state papers, and other works.

The wisdom in this work is practical as well as inspirational. Reading it you will naturally feel, as Jefferson’s correspondents surely did, that you are receiving wise counsel from a close friend. Light and Liberty has been employed by teachers as an instructional resource for students forming their world view, and by political, religious, media, academic, and business leaders for quick reference and contemplation.

Eric S. Petersen

Americans have a warm regard for Thomas Jefferson because of his indispensable contributions to our country and his optimistic view of the future of humanity.  All who wish to see a full restoration of the hope and promise of America and a return to its founding principles will, I trust, delight in this compact volume and draw inspiration from the timeless truths it holds.

Liberty is freedom from coercion. Light is freedom from ignorance. “Light and liberty”, as Thomas Jefferson often wisely observed, indeed “go together”.

   Lectures and Talks   

Among the talks Eric has given around the world:

  • United Nations, New York, NY.
  • The Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic: Welcoming remarks to the Council of Europe on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
  • Universities across the United States including: The Harvard University Summer Program, the University of Washington and the University of Chicago.
  • Universities in Europe including: Charles University and the University of Economics in Prague, and the University of Iceland.
  • The Jefferson Library, Charlottesville, VA: Hosted by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc. and the International Center for Jefferson Studies.
  • Universities in Russia: St. Petersburg State University, Institute of Management and Law, Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation, and the Higher School of Economics.
  • National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, PA.
  • US Conference of Mayors.

    Expanded print version

Bill Barker, Thomas Jefferson interpreter extraordinaire, makes some very nice comments about Eric’s presentation at Pace University in New York.