Book on Jefferson Presidency by Mel Laracey released

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Neighbor Mel Laracey, an associate professor of political science at UTSA, has just published "Informing a Nation: The Newspaper Presidency of Thomas Jefferson."

The book, published just a few days ago by the University of Michigan Press, looks at Thomas Jefferson’s use of the newspaper he founded — The National Intelligencer — to get his political message out to the country.

The Intelligencer, it seems, was Jefferson’s Twitter account. Not only did it carry his views, but its content was republished by a network of party-aligned newspapers across the country (retweeted?).

Jefferson and his party were not alone in this approach.

“America by the beginning of the nineteenth century had a robust form of national political communication carried out by party-sponsored newspapers,” Mel writes in the Introduction to his book. “Found in virtually every town, and available via postage-free circulation to other newspaper editors, these newspapers were stridently partisan, promoting party positions and commenting on national affairs from a particular political viewpoint.”

Mel’s book looks at this newsprint Twitterverse (apologies to Mel — this analogy is wholly mine, it’s not in his book) and shows how Jefferson used it throughout his first term to illuminate and drive the key issues of his presidency.

The book is available in hardcover and ebook format from the University of Michigan Press (see link below).

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Mel Laracey's book is available in both hardcover and ebook format at The University of Michigan Press.

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Book cover for Informing a Nation

The book cover for Mel Laracey's new book, "Informing a Nation: The Newspaper Presidency of Thomas Jefferson"

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