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Hemingses Of Monticello, The [Paperback]

Annette Gordon-reed
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. This is a scholar's book: serious, thick, complex. It's also fascinating, wise and of the utmost importance. Gordon-Reed, a professor of both history and law who in her previous book helped solve some of the mysteries of the intimate relationship between Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemings, now brings to life the entire Hemings family and its tangled blood links with slave-holding Virginia whites over an entire century. Gordon-Reed never slips into cynicism about the author of the Declaration of Independence. Instead, she shows how his life was deeply affected by his slave kinspeople: his lover (who was the half-sister of his deceased wife) and their children. Everyone comes vividly to life, as do the places, like Paris and Philadelphia, in which Jefferson, his daughters and some of his black family lived. So, too, do the complexities and varieties of slaves' lives and the nature of the choices they had to make—when they had the luxury of making a choice. Gordon-Reed's genius for reading nearly silent records makes this an extraordinary work. 37 illus. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

[...] In her new book Gordon-Reed has not abandoned her incisive legal approach to evidence, but here she has essentially become a historian, and a superb one. She has set out to do what she thinks professional historians should have been doing all along. With great historical imagination, she has done far more than put together a convincing case for the Jefferson-Hemings relationship. She has also reconstructed the complicated and intimate relations between black and white families in And perhaps most important, she has uncovered the many expressions of humanity by both blacks and whites existing within a fundamentally inhumane institution. "...the magisterial The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family..." Joyce Carol Oates, Times Literary Supplement, Christmas Roundup 2008 "The Hemingses of Monticello marks the author as one of the most astute, insightful, and forthright historians of this generation." The New York Review of Books "[A] commanding and important book." The New Yorker

About the Author

Annette Gordon-Reed is a professor of law at New York Law School and a professor of history at Rutgers University. She is the author of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy.
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