Episode 9: Rescuing History from the Shadows

Heroes Journeys: (clockwise from top right) Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana; Sukarno, Indonesia; Ho Chi Minh, Viet Nam; Emilio Auguinaldo, Philippines; Michael Jordan, U.S.A.


After rapping out all the HAG news that’s fit to print, Chris and Josh dive into the recently aired ESPN doc “The Last Dance” and suggest that Michael Jordan’s story fits the traditional hero’s journey. Like Jordan, the heroes of history are often complex and multi-dimensional figures, except when it comes to certain officially approved national heroes, who by comparison seem one-dimensional and stiff as statues. What gives? Chris pulls Thomas Jefferson out of the shadows of national myth to reveal a more complex, contradictory, and uncomfortable version of the Sage of Monticello. Pulling the borders off the Jefferson story, Josh expands our view to a global stage to explore the irony that the seeds of freedom and liberty planted by racists, imperialists, and slaveholders, eventually “grew where they had not been intended.” Follow us @HistATG on Instagram and Twitter

Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Washington, D.C.

To hear Episode 9 Rescuing History from the Shadows click on the following link:


Sources Referenced

Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949)


ESPN, “The Last Dance” (2020)


Madison Hemings, Memoir (1873)


Henry Wiencek, The Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves (2012)


Joel Gehrke, “Jefferson Memorial exhibit update will acknowledge slavery record” Washington Examiner (August 20, 2017)


Farah Stockman, “Monticello Is Done Avoiding Jefferson’s Relationship With Sally Hemings” New York Times (June 16, 2018)


Thomas Jefferson, The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America (1776)


Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia (1787)


Ambrosio Bautista, Philippine Declaration of Independence (1898)


Johann Hari, “Not His Finest Hour” Independent (October 27, 2010)


Thomas Macaulay, “On Education” (1835)


Ho Chi Minh, Declaration of Independence of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam (1945)


Kwame Nkrumah, “I Speak of Freedom” (1961)


Tulisan Soekarno a.k.a. Sukarno, “Nationalism, Islam, and Marxism” (1926)


“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness….”

Thomas Jefferson (1776)

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