Lively and in-depth discussions of city news, politics, science, entertainment, the arts, and more.
Hosted by Larry Mantle
Airs Weekdays 10 am - 12 pm

Clash of the titans: The battle between Washington and Jefferson that shaped the nation




Washington Nationals mascots representing presidents George Washington (L) and Thomas Jefferson are seen during the annual Easter Egg roll 09 April 2007 at the White House in Washingon, DC.
Washington Nationals mascots representing presidents George Washington (L) and Thomas Jefferson are seen during the annual Easter Egg roll 09 April 2007 at the White House in Washingon, DC.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

Listen to story

15:13
Download this story 7MB

One was a staunch pragmatist, the other an unabashed idealist.

In “The Great Divide,” historian Thomas Fleming pits the competing visions of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and draws out how their ideological battles helped shape the fledgling nation.

While Washington opposed the violence and chaos of the French Revolution, Jefferson supported it regardless of the upheaval.  They differed on what direction should the nation’s policy foreign take, the role of merchants and farmers in a sustainable economy, but their most profound difference was in the role of government and what power should the country’s highest office—the presidency—wield.

Guest:

Thomas Fleming, historian who has written over fifty books. His latest is "The Great Divide: The Conflict between Washington and Jefferson that Defined a Nation" (Da Capo Press, 2015)