Thomas Jefferson: The Essential Democrat

Three Wednesdays, February 21 and 28 and March 7, 6:30–8:00 p.m. | Covenant Church, 4949 Caroline, 77004, in the museum district. Parking in the church’s lot is limited; parking on the surrounding streets is widely available.

Jefferson: Architect of American Liberty (Basic Books, 2017) is widely praised as the best one-volume biography of Thomas Jefferson. Its author, John B. Boles, the William Pettus Hobby Professor of History at Rice University, the former editor of the Journal of Southern History, and, most recently, an acclaimed biographer, will present three lectures on Thomas Jefferson. Professor Boles will discuss Jefferson’s role in the founding of our country and in its early governance and will describe his remarkable personal qualities.

February 21: Overview
Professor Boles will place Jefferson in the context of his time and place—how he reflected and was formed by his environment— and will discuss how Jefferson has been treated by historians over time.

February 28: Jefferson in France
Jefferson’s time in France, 1784–1789, profoundly affected his ideas on government. He witnessed the French monarchy’s disregard of its people, which sharpened his belief in the virtues of a republican form of government.  He left France just as the Revolution was beginning, and the political and economic discontent he witnessed there, especially the poverty of the French peasantry, strengthened his democratic tendencies.

March 7: Jefferson as President and Politician
Jefferson’s presidency was a time of exploration and expansion and political growth.  As a reluctant president who led the nation through eight tumultuous years, Jefferson was also a reluctant politician who presided over the country in the early stages of its two-party political system.



Quantity & Dates

Thomas Jefferson: The Essential Democrat
Three Wednesdays, February 21 and 28 and March 7, 6:30–8:00 p.m.
$90 all sessions; $35 single session
Indicate date of session/s and number of people registering.




Finishing up Spring 2018! 

Mexico City: Past, Present, Future
April 3-9
And our travelers are there in the present!


Gorbachev: His Life and Times
Monday, April 16, 6:30-8:00 P.M. | The Junior League, 1811 Briar Oaks Ln, 77027
Co-sponsored with World Affairs Council of Houston


Behind the Pages: A Conversation with William Middleton 
Tuesday, April 24, 6:30-8:00 P.M.


For additional information about any of our courses, to register offline, or to add your name to our mailing and/or email lists, please contact our adminstrator at  or phone 713.666.9000.