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Jefrey Rosen, professor of law, finds liberty in Mr. Jefferson


“I read Mr. Jefferson (1926), by the libertarian Albert Jay Nock, when writing my book about progressive Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, who, despite differing politics, claimed it was his favorite biography.

Nock’s view of Thomas Jefferson is so relevant to current American debates: His book reveals how many of America’s leaders viewed constitutional history through economic terms. Jefferson embodied an anti-oligarchy tradition that favored farmers over monopolists and financiers; he embraced Republicanism because it employed the smallest unit of governing and was hard to centralize. In the progressive era, all parties shared Jefferson’s hatred of monopoly. But after the civil rights movement, Democrats prioritized racial equality, forgetting working people’s interests.

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ONE MILLION DEAD: WHAT WAR WITH NORTH KOREA WOULD LOOK LIKE What would another armed conflict on the peninsula look like? During the Korean War, which lasted from 1950 to 1953, some 2.7 million Koreans died, along with 33,000 Americans and 800,000 Chinese. In any pre-emption scenario now, the U.S. would try to keep the strike limited to the task at hand; at the same time, Washington would signal in any way it could, probably via the North’s ally in Beijing, that it did not seek a wider war.