- The Book
- The Editor
- Thomas Jefferson
President Mikhail Gorbachev
“I have been asked to comment on the forthcoming publication of Light and Liberty, edited by Eric S. Petersen. In 1993, I was pleased to take part in the celebrations of Thomas Jefferson’s 250th birthday held at the University of Virginia. Those days will forever remain etched in my memory, especially since I have a sense of deep reverence for this outstanding man. The biography of this great American has much to teach us all, not only his fellow countrymen, while his words and deeds are bound to serve as a lesson and source of inspiration for mankind.
“I admire the huge work undertaken by the author, Eric S. Petersen, who has examined countless letters and papers written by Thomas Jefferson over more than half a century. The outcome of Petersen’s painstaking research is this extraordinary book, Light and Liberty, which contains a wealth of opinions and pronouncements from the third President of the United States on such universal values as liberty, faith and the pursuit of happiness. The book is indeed very interesting and extremely enlightening, and I am convinced that it will have a lasting effect. Today, at this critical juncture in history, when a global world is being shaped and when people are learning how to live in concert and strengthen relations with one another, Thomas Jefferson’s lessons can greatly benefit us all.
“The pursuit of happiness is part and parcel of human nature. Every people in every era have the opportunity to attain this lofty goal. But nowhere is this possible unless it is consonant with the basic principles of liberty. I believe that humanity might have avoided many tragedies and calamities if we had always borne this in mind.”
15 MARCH 2004
Mikhail Gorbachev heads the Gorbachev Foundation and Green Cross International and is the recipient of the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize. As President of the Soviet Union, he opened his nation to democracy and the rights of man, unified Germany, freed eastern Europe, and was the key figure in ending the world threat of nuclear annihilation.