Jefferson the Virginian - Volume I Hardcover – Jul 14 2000
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Prodigiously researched and felicitously written, Dumas Malone's multi-volume Jefferson and His Time is one of the great biographies of the 20th century.--New Republic
Malone is the giant on whose shoulders every subsequent scholar of Jefferson stands, and his work remains seminal in shaping our understanding of who Jefferson was. Both from a purely scholarly standpoint and outside the groves of academe, Malone's biography of Jefferson is simply a great read. There is a whole new generation of Jefferson lovers who will want to own this set.--Joseph J. Ellis, National Book Award winning author of "American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson"" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
At the time of his death late in 1986, Dumas Malone was acknowledged as the greatest scholar ever to study and write a biography of Thomas Jefferson. Born in Mississippi, educated at Emory and Yale, and a Marine Corps veteran of World War I, Malone was editor-in-chief of the scholarly"Dictionary of American Biography" and wrote a 15,000-word life of Jefferson as part of his editorial duties. From that first scholarly interest, Malone went on to write (between 1948 and 1981) a six-volume work, "Jefferson and His Time", that will long stand as the definitive biography of our third president.
Top Customer Reviews
Jefferson is not worthy of our interest because of Sally Hemmings and because he kept slaves. Jefferson is great because of the Declaration of Independence and his fight for the rights of man. While it may have been hypocritical to preach liberty and keep slaves, it is doubtful that slavery ever would have been abolished if Jefferson had never gained the prominence that he did. This book and the others that follow show why we should continue to honor the public man even though his private side may have been wanting.
JEFFERSON THE VIRGINIAN begins things with Jefferson's birth into a family of much distinction. His father Peter was a noted surveyor and a man of inordinate physical strength who nevertheless died fairly young (in his fifties). The book covers Jefferon's education at William and Mary (at a time when formal education was not a widespread thing, even among the gentry), his law practice, his beginning the construction of Monticello (which would preoccupy him right up until the time of his death), his terms in the Virginia House of Burgesses (one of which was served after his governorship), his writing of the Declaration of Independence (his initial version, a scathing indictment of King George, had to be toned down by his compatriots), and his controversial governorship (in which he sustained much of the blame for the British army's inroads into the Old Dominion state). It ends with his appointment as an American ambassador to France.
Obviously this is no primer on Jefferson. Malone spares no detail. His prose is fastidious, elegant, and easy to read, although you may find yourself putting the book down from time to time to absorb what you have just read. Overall, Jefferson emerges here as a man naturally scholarly and reclusive, content to build his home, pursue his studies, and tend to his family, who is pushed into action by the obligations of his caste and by his own fervent patriotism.Read more ›
This work is one of the first comprehensive biographies of Jefferson's life. This is the first of six in the complete set. Malone is a distinguished historian so you will read about Jefferson's ancestry, along with Jefferson's youth, education, legal career, his marriage, the construction of Monticello. Not that was enough for one man's life, but we see the writing of the Declaration of Independence and Jefferson's work on the "Notes on Virginia."
We get an insight as to how Jefferson conducted his highly successful legislative career and his governorship. But what we do NOT see is the soul of Jefferson... the man, the human being. We get facts and more facts about a very complex individual and a monumental man. But the richness of the breath of life is left out.
Nonetheless, the book is a very scholarly work, one of the first to complete a comphensive work on a mulitfarious man. I enjoyed reading this volume for its historical importance and significance. This volume lays the ground work on which all of the other volumes set.
This work being well documented is a good start into reading about the life and times of Thomas Jefferson. One fact the comes through loud and clear... Jefferson is a Virginian foremost and always... there is no mistaking that fact.
Most recent customer reviews
VERY detailed account of Jefferson during the his life in Virginia. Although it had in depth description of the political structure, the people, and Jefferson's involvement in the... Read morePublished on Oct. 30 2003 by Cedar
This wonderful piece of biographical scholarship, profiles the life of Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was one of America's most prolific statesmen and a talented jack-of-all-trades... Read morePublished on Oct. 8 2001 by R. Setliff
Though his review has not been well-received, reviewer Douglas McIntyre has it about right. All those who wish to study Jefferson ought to begin with Malone yet this book... Read morePublished on Aug. 9 2000 by Derek Leaberry
Dumas Malone's massive biography of Thomas Jefferson remains one of the landmark biographies ever written. As a work of scholarship, it is truely fantastic. Read morePublished on Feb. 14 2000 by Douglas McIntyre
I enjoyed this book a lot. I agree with the reviewer that said it was one-sided, but I've never read a Jefferson book that wasn't. Read morePublished on Jan. 7 2000 by Leon M. Bodevin
Malone's biography of Jefferson is one of the greatest works of historical scholarship ever written. Read morePublished on Nov. 24 1999 by eunomius
The dedication of one man (Malone) to the life of another (Jefferson) speaks volumes (at least 6, to be precise) as to the character of both men. Read morePublished on May 3 1999 by Mark T. Peterson
What would inspire (possess?) a man to devote his entire career to the study and interpretation of another man? Love. Read morePublished on April 30 1999
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