Robert M. S. McDonald is associate professor of history at the United States Military Academy and an adjunct scholar of the Cato Institute. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia, Oxford University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he earned his Ph.D. A specialist on Thomas Jefferson and the early American republic, he has published several essays and articles in journals such as The Historian, Southern Cultures, and the Journal of the Early Republic. He is editor of Thomas Jefferson’s Military Academy: Founding West Point (University of Virginia Press, 2004) and Light & Liberty: Thomas Jefferson and the Power of Knowledge (University of Virginia Press, forthcoming). He is completing a book to be titled Confounding Father: Thomas Jefferson and the Politics of Personality. He lives in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York, with his wife, Christine, and their children Jefferson and Grace.
This speech was delivered at Cato University on August 1, 2012.