All But Forgotten

Thomas Jefferson and the Development of Public Administration

By Stephanie P. Newbold

Subjects: American History, Public Administration, American Government, Public Policy, Political Science
Paperback : 9781438430720, 147 pages, January 2011
Hardcover : 9781438430737, 147 pages, March 2010

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

1. The Revolutionary Thinker
Developing a Brief Contextual Understanding for Jefferson’s Perspectives on Administration and Constitutional Theory during the Early Stages of His Political Career

2. The Presidency
How Eight Years in Washington Changed Jefferson’s Constitutional and Administrative Thinking

3. Revolutionary Perspectives on State-Sponsored Education
Jefferson’s Lasting Intellectual and Institutional Contribution to the Development of Public Administration in the United States

4. Thomas Jefferson
An Administrative Creator and Conservator of American Constitutional Tradition


Study of Thomas Jefferson’s legacy in public administration.


Thomas Jefferson's contributions to the development of administrative thought and practice in the United States have largely been overlooked in American history. His career in public service and his ideas concerning government and constitutional tradition have overshadowed his involvement with public administration. All But Forgotten explores this hidden contribution by investigating Jefferson's two terms as president and the educational history of the University of Virginia, an institution whose early years were influenced by Jefferson's theory and practice of administration. Throughout his later years, Jefferson developed a more comprehensive awareness of the effects of the political process on the administration of government, the theoretical and practical value of preserving constitutional tradition, and the constant need to connect contemporary public policy with the types of republican principles found in the Constitution. The end of Jefferson's career is as important to the historical advancement of administrative theory and practice as the beginning is to political theory and democratic thought.

Stephanie P. Newbold is Assistant Professor of Public Administration at American University.


"…presents the intriguing and important argument that Thomas Jefferson should be considered a significant contributor to public administration thinking … Newbold has made a substantial contribution to our understanding of the thought of this seminal figure in American government, a president, whether rightly or wrongly, regarded as one of our best." — Journal of Southern History

"Newbold's work is an important contribution to the understanding of Jefferson's position in the development of public administration in the United States." — Public Voices

"…Newbold offers an elegant, engaging analysis that traces the thoughts and practices of the third president of the US regarding public administration." — CHOICE