Jenkinson.field

Clay S. Jenkinson

Editor-at-Large

Clay Jenkinson is the editor-at-large of Governing. A noted humanities scholar and historian Clay received a BA from the University of Minnesota, and an MA from Oxford where he has a Rhodes and Danforth Scholar. He is the author of twelve books, most recently Repairing Jefferson's America: A Guide to Civility and Enlightened Leadership. He has appeared in several of Ken Burns’ documentary films and is the creator of the podcast and nationally syndicated public radio program, "The Thomas Jefferson Hour," heard on many NPR stations.


Clay portrays such historical figures as Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and J. Robert Oppenheimer. He lives and works on the plains of North Dakota. He is the founder of the Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University in western North Dakota, dedicated to the digitization of all of Theodore Roosevelt’s Papers.

He can be reached at cjenkinson@governing.com or on Twitter at @ClayJenkinson.

A new book makes a multi-generational examination of the origin stories of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin to understand how they were shaped and by whom – their mothers.
Congress and state legislatures dealt with dozens of bills on voter identification and other legislative measures aimed at more full election integrity — but there is no agreement on what a more perfect voting process would look like.
Political gridlock and one-term presidents, are there recognizable patterns in how the Constitution plays out as the country moves through and beyond our times?
Imperial presidents, a diminished Congress and powerful judicial review. History and its players have shaped a Constitution that might surprise the framers.
Sandy Stosz, a self-described stubborn retired vice admiral, digests the lessons in leadership from a 40-year career in the U.S. Coast Guard.
Jealously guarded as the country's most sacred text, the highest law in the land is an artifact of history even as competing forces put demands on it to guide the country into the future.
The author of a new book on the pioneers of the civil rights movement says, as different as the two were from each other, they were also each other’s alter egos in the struggle against racism.
A new book the author calls “an owner’s manual for American citizens” recovers a lost language that Americans need to talk with each other about things that matter.

As a divided country wrestles with its future, it may be a good time to think about how we constitute a more perfect Union.
The Constitution is silent on the number of justices on the Supreme Court. The independence of the judiciary is put in jeopardy when partisans settle political scores by rebalancing the courts.