Jedediah S. Purdy (born 1974 in Chloe, West Virginia) is a professor of law at Duke University and the author of two widely-discussed books: For Common Things: Irony, Trust, and Commitment in America Today (1999) and Being America: Liberty, Commerce and Violence in an American World (2003). More recently the author of The Meaning of Property: Freedom, Community and the Legal Imagination (2010) and A Tolerable Anarchy: Rebels, Reactionaries, and the Making of American Freedom (2009).
He was home schooled in West Virginia until high school and is a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy, Harvard College (where he was a Truman Scholar and a member of the Class of 1997), and Yale Law School (Class of 2001). After law school, he clerked for the Honorable Pierre N. Leval of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in New York. He also serves on the editorial advisory board of the Ethics & International Affairs. He has been a fellow at the New America Foundation, a think tank that has been described as radical centrist in orientation.
He is the son of Wally and Deirdre Purdy.
- "For Common Things" (Knopf), has become one of the season's meatier cultural chew toys. Kahn, Joseph P. (19 October 1999) "Shooting at the hip; With the assurance of youth, Jed Purdy challenges a culture of 'terminal irony' in an age of cool" The Boston Globe page D-1
- Halstead, Ted, ed. (2004). The Real State of the Union: From the Best Minds in America, Bold Solutions to the Problems Politicians Dare Not Address. Basic Books, pp. vii and xiii. ISBN 978-0-465-05052-9.
- Morin, Richard; Deane, Claudia (10 December 2001). "Big Thinker. Ted Halstead’s New America Foundation Has It All: Money, Brains and Buzz". The Washington Post, Style section, p. 1.
- New York Times Magazine profile, "Against Irony" by Marshall Sella, September 5, 1999.
- Liberal Empire: Assessing the Arguments by Jedediah Purdy
- Washington Post profile, "A Super-Scholar, All Grown Up and Still Theorizing", April 10, 2006.
- Famed McSweeney's parody, "Jedediah in Love", by Todd Pruzan, October 12, 1999.