A Founding Contradiction


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"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." Those words, penned by Thomas Jefferson 246 years ago, continue to inspire many Americans. And yet they were written by a man who owned hundreds of enslaved people, and fathered six children by an enslaved woman. This week, as we prepare to mark Independence Day in the United States, we revisit our 2018 conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Annette Gordon-Reed. We talk about the contradictions in Jefferson's life — and how those contradictions resonate in our own lives.

If you like this show, be sure to check out our other work, including our recent episode about the power of subtraction.

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