The Last Jeffersonian

The Last Jeffersonian kicked off my interest in self publishing. I wrote it in the 1990s, mostly while I taught politics at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. If the pride an author takes in a publication is related to the work required to produce it, you’re bound to favor longer books over shorter ones. The Last Jeffersonian is one of the longer ones, and took a fair amount of time to produce in paper.

You can purchase a used copy of The Last Jeffersonian at Amazon. I’m not sure why the price on Amazon has climbed so high, or how many copies I have in my own inventory. I hoped for a long time that I had a box of copies in the basement, but I could not locate it. Perhaps I distributed all those, so all you have left is a phantom box in your memory.

Here’s the description posted at Amazon’s page for the book:

The Last Jeffersonian gives Reagan his due as a politician, a patriot, and a political thinker. Michael Beschloss calls Reagan “one of the most important presidents in American history.” This book explains why. Based on a close study of Reagan’s most important speeches, as well as analysis of his key policies, The Last Jeffersonian shows why Reagan connected with the American people. He reformulated traditions of limited government, free enterprise, democratic participation, and patriotic belief in the future. He argued for his updated version of the American dream with perseverance, passion, and energy. As a result, he changed the country and the entire world.

These reviews give you an idea of what the book is like, and what you can expect if you read it:

I had long ago all but dismissed Ronald Reagan as an amiable and polished speaker of lines he had been given to read. Still I was curious about his appeal, even to such intelligent critics as George Will. Will and others had written columns over the years defending Reagan’s views, but I wanted more: a coherent defense of the man’s principles in view of his (to me) obvious callousness towards the have-nots. It was for this reason that I read Dr. Greffenius’s impassioned championship of Reagan. Through Greffenius’s presentation of the principles Reagan defended – all stemming from his radical belief in the importance of individual freedom – I began to think of Reagan, for the first time, as a brilliant conduit for the principles of democracy first espoused by Thomas Jefferson. Greffenius does not ignore Reagan’s critics, but engages them directly. And as I read this book, I found myself thinking often of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s conclusion to The Great Gatsby. The Last Jeffersonian opened my eyes to the ways in which Ronald Reagan gave us, perhaps for the last time in history, a view of our America from “somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.” I can’t, even now, describe myself as a Reagan fan. But The Last Jeffersonian was nevertheless an interesting and very worthwhile read.

July 31, 2002

In The Last Jeffersonian, Steven Greffenius persuasively contends that Ronald Reagan articulated the values of American democracy as understood and defined by its great Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson. It’s a unique and valuable analysis. (Lou Cannon)

December 26, 2002
The succession of essays, each on a facet of Reagan’s philosophy, reveals an inspiring amalgam of contrast and comparison among Reagan, Jefferson, Jackson and FDR. Even Gatsby, Willy Loman, Horatio Alger, Micawber and Mr. Magoo are pointedly drawn into the mix. Indispensable if you wish to know Reagan.

The Last Jeffersonian is available only in paper from the author, or used on Amazon.