Journal of a graduate student in military history and the American Civil War

2008 National Book Award Winner: The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family

with 5 comments

Congratulations to Annette Gordon-Reed for winning the 2008 National Book Award for non-fiction.

Annette Gordon-Reed Annette Gordon-Reed's The Hemingses of Monticello
The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family
W.W. Norton & Company


“In the mesmerizing narrative of Annette Gordon-Reed’s American family saga, one feels the steady accretion of convincing argument: Her book is at once a painstaking history of slavery, an unflinching gaze at the ways it has defined us, and a humane exploration of lives—grand and humble—that “our peculiar institution” conjoined. This is more than the story of Thomas Jefferson and his house slave Sally Hemings; it is a deeply moral and keenly intelligent probe of the harsh yet all-too-human world they inhabited and the bloodline they share.”


5 Responses

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  1. It’s worth noting that Eric Foner, who should have loved the book, gave it only a mediocre review. It’s an interesting topic, but not 800 pages worth.


    November 21, 2008 at 7:30 pm

  2. That IS interesting. Thanks for sharing. I’ve got a copy on the way so will be interested to compare notes.


    Rene Tyree

    November 21, 2008 at 8:18 pm

  3. Compare Foner to Gordon S. Wood in The New Republic, Edmund Morgan in the The New York Review of Books, and the reviews in the Chicago Tribune, LA Times, Slate, and other reviews listed on Amazon.

    V. Grey

    November 21, 2008 at 9:07 pm

  4. Also the cover review in The Washington Post Bookworld

    V. Grey

    November 21, 2008 at 9:16 pm

  5. Excellent! I will hit them all. Appreciate the heads up.


    Rene Tyree

    November 21, 2008 at 9:23 pm

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