The Hemingses of Monticello

An American Family

Gordon-Reed, Annette

Book - 2008
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Hemingses of Monticello
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.

Publisher: New York, NY : W.W. Norton & Co., 2008
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 0393064778
Branch Call Number: 973.46 G664h 2008
Characteristics: 798 p., [16] p. of plates :,ill., maps ;,25 cm


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.

Feb 11, 2010

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


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