The Hemingses of Monticello

An American Family
Gordon-Reed, Annette (Book - 2008)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Hemingses of Monticello

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Historian and legal scholar Gordon-Reed presents this epic work that tells the story of the Hemingses, an American slave family, and their close blood ties to Thomas Jefferson.
Authors: Gordon-Reed, Annette
Title: The Hemingses of Monticello
an American family
Publisher: New York, NY : W.W. Norton & Co., 2008
Edition: 1st ed
Characteristics: 798 p., [16] p. of plates :,ill., maps ;,25 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Annette Gordon-Reed
Contents: I: Origins
Young Elizabeth's world
John Wayles: the immigrant
The children of no one
Thomas Jefferson
The first Monticello
In the home of a revolutionary
II: The vaunted scene of Europe
"A particular purpose"
James Hemings: the provincial abroad
"Isabel or Sally will come"
Dr. Sutton
The rhythms of the city
The eve of revolution
"During that time"
Sarah Hemings: the fatherless girl in a patriarchal society
The teenagers and the woman
"His promises on which she implicitly relied"
"The treaty" and "did they love each other?"
The return
III: On the mountain
Hello and goodbye
The brothers
The second Monticello
Into the future, echoes from the past
The ocean of life
The public world and the private domain
"Measurably happy": the children of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings
Retirement for one, not for all
Endings and beginnings
Summary: Historian and legal scholar Gordon-Reed presents this epic work that tells the story of the Hemingses, an American slave family, and their close blood ties to Thomas Jefferson.
ISBN: 9780393064773
Branch Call Number: 973.46 G664h 2008
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 737-753) and index
Subject Headings: Hemings family Hemings, Sally Family Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826 Family Monticello (Va.) Biography Albemarle County (Va.) Biography Slaves Virginia Albemarle County Biography African American families Virginia Albemarle County African American families African Americans Biography Racially mixed people United States Biography
Topical Term: Slaves
African American families
African American families
African Americans
Racially mixed people
LCCN: 2008014642
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From Library Staff

Join the discussion on Jan. 26, 2015. This Pulitzer Prize-winning book is the account of the Hemingses from 1700 until the family's dispersal after Thomas Jefferson's death in 1826 and an opportunity to reconsider the third president’s life, words and actions regarding slavery.

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Feb 10, 2013
  • sess430 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I read it in 2009. It revealed what a paradoxical life Jefferson led ~ he was in love with one of his slaves, yet he continued to keep slaves. Even so, there is no denying the great contributions he made to society.

Feb 07, 2013
  • JMP7 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Won the National Book Award. Fascinating history of the Hemings family, who were slaves under Thomas Jefferson. Sally Hemings was his mistress and the mother of several children with Jefferson. I read it for my book club a couple of years ago. It's really long but worth it.

May 06, 2011
  • westda rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Long, but never a wasted word or thought. A historian's dance, threaded with irony over the racial theme, loaded with perspective about an entitled class that disappeared after the Civil War. Jefferson is, as ever, conflicted and complex - and more than slighly evil.

Oct 09, 2010
  • pokano rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Fascinating topic: the slaves of Thomas Jefferson, in particular, the family consisting of half siblings of his deceased wife, including the wife's half sister with whom Jefferson had several children. Oh, would that the author have been a more skilled writer. Redundancies abound, complicated by the fact that this was a time where people named children after dead children and relatives, so keeping them straight is like trying to keep the characters in War and Peace straight. A good editor would have helped this book immensely. Nonetheless, it was worth the read.

Selection for the online book discussion program of New Yorker magazine, February 2010.


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app04 Version Arkelstorp Last updated 2014/10/23 09:41