The Hemingses of Monticello

The Hemingses of Monticello

An American Family

Book - 2008
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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.
Published: New York, NY : W.W. Norton & Co., 2008.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780393064773
Branch Call Number: 973.4609 GOR
Characteristics: 798 p., [16] p. of plates :,ill., maps ;,25 cm.


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Pulitzer winner: History 2009

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This book includes the most fascinating depiction of the institution of slavery I've ever read. It is much more than the story of the Hemings family and their impossibly complicated relationships with Thomas Jefferson. I was fascinated throughout.

Apr 07, 2016

The depth and historical accuracy are fantastic and it is a story that needs to be told but as with others I almost abandoned the book because of the redundancies. Too many words!!

Nov 13, 2015

There were many aspects of this book that were extremely thought provoking and interesting. However, the writer makes the same points over and over and over until I was just about ready to abandon reading the book. It would be a much better read with some better editing.

Oct 03, 2015

The author is a lawyer and evaluates evidence from a lawyer's broad, but disciplined perspective. She distinguishes between what is known and what cannot be known, and includes evidence for evaluating various hypotheses.

To help readers she has included diagrams of the Hemmings family tree and a chronology of the Hemmings Family.

Feb 10, 2013

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.

JMP7 Feb 07, 2013

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

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 04, 2010

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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