A headshot of James Thompson

James Thompson, Author

The History of Ideas that Shaped America

As a writer, I am interested in the History of Ideas and how they shape our lives today. I write about Ideas, what they encompass, how they form, how they change as they move from place to place, what happens to them as they do, and the impact they have as men and women apply them.

I want my readers to understand the ideas I talk about the same way the people who carried them did. I want readers
to be THERE, not looking at them from HERE.

What is the best way to communicate the “being there” dimension I am trying to capture? I wish I had a foolproof answer to this question, but I don’t. I call one of the methods I use “non-fiction narration”. To see what I am referring
to, pick up a copy of my recent book, Thomas Jefferson’s Enlightenment – Paris 1785.

The Commonwealth Book Blog

Join me in discussing Three Key American Revolutions

I vaguely remember reading Alexis de Tocqueville’s analysis of society in America as a high school student. As I recall it, I learned that a Frenchman touring America in the late-1830s found Americans to be friendly, industrious, and obsessed with making money. When I reread his commentary many years later, I learned something far different: Tocqueville thought America would become what I call a Tyranny of Benevolence.

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James Thompson in his interview about the Virginia aristocracy

Virginia’s Aristocracy

An interview with author, James Thompson This interview aired on Cox Cable 20, in November 2014. This edition of Virginia Time Travel featured James Thompson, author of The Birth of Virginia’s Aristocracy.

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A painting of George Washington and his "mulatto man" Billy

George Washington and Billy Lee

Lecture : October 31, 2015, The Daughters of the American Revolution, Washington D.C. Headquarter Facility William Lee, known as Billy Lee, was George Washington’s personal slave from 1767 until Washington’s death in

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