Tonight was the first official event of the Virginia Club of Michigan, and I am its Communications Director (because I'm the one who knows how to work the Twitter). Our guest was Gordon Burris, who's been with the University for as long as I've been alive and has more anecdotes than I have hairs on my head. The conversation took a turn toward Jon Meacham's new book, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, and how it fits in with the myriad interpretations among Jefferson and His Time, The Hemingses of Monticello, and American Sphinx.
As you've probably guessed, I'm fascinated with Our Nerdiest President, because of quotes like this:
"... I rarely waste time in reading on theological subjects, as mangled by our Pseudo-Christians.... Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus. If it could be understood it would not answer their purpose. Their security is in their faculty of shedding darkness, like the scuttlefish, thro' the element in which they move, and making it impenetrable to the eye of a pursuing enemy, and there they will skulk." [source]
Say what you will, but the man could bring the withering smack.