In this thought-provoking book, Lance Banning examines the reflections of Jefferson and Madison on the purpose and need for a bill of rights, their discussion of the nature and necessity of 'public spirit' in a republic, of the usefulness of political rebellion, and Jefferson's reminder that 'the earth belongs . . . to the living.' The author adds selected primary documents to enhance each chapter. This interchange between two of America's greatest thinkers reveals the way in which the two men thought about democracy, public debt, the ownership of property, and the relationship between the present and future generations. Banning provides a glimpse into the intellectual world of the Founders, as well as insight into our own.