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Spirits Talkingis a set of six conversations on ethics and international affairs. Questions of ethics and philosophy have been explored through dialogues since the days of Pericles. In this case the conversation is somewhat more modern and more American. The three participants are the lively and intelligent spirits of Thomas Jefferson (an idealist voice), John Adams (a realist voice), and Abigail Adams (the voice of a feminist and a skeptic.) They gather at night in Jefferson's cabinet, as he called the study in the favored southeast corner of Monticello, and they recall the wars on the pirates in Tripoli, their days in Paris before the revolution, Jefferson's liaison with a slave girl who came to the Adams's house in Grosvenor Square in London, Sally Hemings, and his theories about resolving the problem of slavery in America. The book is designed to invite readers to join the conversations by adopting the view of one of the three or staking out a fourth position critical of them all.