Best Annette Gordon-Reed books

The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family

Annette Gordon-Reed

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Winner of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize: “[A] commanding and important book.”―Jill Lepore, The New Yorker

This epic work―named a best book of the year by the Washington Post, Time, the Los Angeles Times, Amazon, the San Francisco Chronicle, and a notable book by the New York Times―tells the story of the Hemingses, whose close blood ties to our third president had been systematically expunged from American history until very recently. Now, historian and legal scholar Annette Gordon-Reed traces the Hemings family from its origins in Virginia in the 1700s to the family’s dispersal after Jefferson’s death in 1826. 37 illustrations

Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy

Annette Gordon-Reed

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When Annette Gordon-Reed's groundbreaking study was first published, rumors of Thomas Jefferson's sexual involvement with his slave Sally Hemings had circulated for two centuries. Among all aspects of Jefferson's renowned life, it was perhaps the most hotly contested topic. The publication of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings intensified this debate by identifying glaring inconsistencies in many noted scholars' evaluations of the existing evidence. In this study, Gordon-Reed assembles a fascinating and convincing argument: not that the alleged thirty-eight-year liaison necessarily took place but rather that the evidence for its taking place has been denied a fair hearing.

Friends of Jefferson sought to debunk the Hemings story as early as 1800, and most subsequent historians and biographers followed suit, finding the affair unthinkable based upon their view of Jefferson's life, character, and beliefs. Gordon-Reed responds to these critics by pointing out numerous errors and prejudices in their writings, ranging from inaccurate citations, to impossible time lines, to virtual exclusions of evidence―especially evidence concerning the Hemings family. She demonstrates how these scholars may have been misguided by their own biases and may even have tailored evidence to serve and preserve their opinions of Jefferson. This updated edition of the book also includes an afterword in which the author comments on the DNA study that provided further evidence of a Jefferson and Hemings liaison.00

Possessing both a layperson's unfettered curiosity and a lawyer's logical mind, Annette Gordon-Reed writes with a style and compassion that are irresistible. Each chapter revolves around a key figure in the Hemings drama, and the resulting portraits are engrossing and very personal. Gordon-Reed also brings a keen intuitive sense of the psychological complexities of human relationships―relationships that, in the real world, often develop regardless of status or race. The most compelling element of all, however, is her extensive and careful research, which often allows the evidence to speak for itself. Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy is the definitive look at a centuries-old question that should fascinate general readers and historians alike.

"Most Blessed of the Patriarchs": Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination

Annette Gordon-Reed

Best price for this book: $ 11.61

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"An important book…[R]ichly rewarding. It is full of fascinating insights about Jefferson." ―Gordon S. Wood, New York Review of Books

Hailed by critics and embraced by readers, "Most Blessed of the Patriarchs" is one of the richest and most insightful accounts of Thomas Jefferson in a generation. Following her Pulitzer Prize–winning The Hemingses of Monticello¸ Annette Gordon-Reed has teamed with Peter S. Onuf to present a provocative and absorbing character study, "a fresh and layered analysis" (New York Times Book Review) that reveals our third president as "a dynamic, complex and oftentimes contradictory human being" (Chicago Tribune). Gordon-Reed and Onuf fundamentally challenge much of what we thought we knew, and through their painstaking research and vivid prose create a portrait of Jefferson, as he might have painted himself, one "comprised of equal parts sun and shadow" (Jane Kamensky).

15 illustrations

Andrew Johnson: The American Presidents Series: The 17th President, 1865-1869

Annette Gordon-Reed

Best price for this book: $ 20.23

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A Pulitzer Prize-winning historian recounts the tale of the unwanted president who ran afoul of Congress over Reconstruction and was nearly removed from office

Andrew Johnson never expected to be president. But just six weeks after becoming Abraham Lincoln's vice president, the events at Ford's Theatre thrust him into the nation's highest office.

Johnson faced a nearly impossible task―to succeed America's greatest chief executive, to bind the nation's wounds after the Civil War, and to work with a Congress controlled by the so-called Radical Republicans. Annette Gordon-Reed, one of America's leading historians of slavery, shows how ill-suited Johnson was for this daunting task. His vision of reconciliation abandoned the millions of former slaves (for whom he felt undisguised contempt) and antagonized congressional leaders, who tried to limit his powers and eventually impeached him.

The climax of Johnson's presidency was his trial in the Senate and his acquittal by a single vote, which Gordon-Reed recounts with drama and palpable tension. Despite his victory, Johnson's term in office was a crucial missed opportunity; he failed the country at a pivotal moment, leaving America with problems that we are still trying to solve.

By Annette Gordon-Reed - Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy (1997-03-16) [Hardcover]

Annette Gordon-Reed

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Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate History

Fawn M. Brodie

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A seminal biography of Thomas Jefferson and a fascinating exploration of his relationship with Sally Hemings.

With a novelist’s skill and a scholar’s meticulous detail, Fawn M. Brodie portrays Thomas Jefferson as he wrestled with the great issues of his time: revolution, religion, power, race, and love―ambivalences that exerted a subtle but powerful influence on his political ideas and his presidency. Far advanced for its time, Brodie’s biography was the first to set forth a convincing case that Thomas Jefferson was the father of children by his slave Sally Hemings. In a new introduction, Annette Gordon-Reed, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Hemingses of Monticello, explores the impact of Brodie’s groundbreaking book and explains why it is still such a powerful account of one of our greatest and most elusive presidents. 16 pages of illustrations

Race on Trial: Law and Justice in American History (Viewpoints on American Culture)

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This book of twelve original essays will bring together two themes of American culture: law and race. The essays fall into four groups: cases that are essential to the history of race in America; cases that illustrate the treatment of race in American history; cases of great fame that became the trials of the century of their time; and cases that made important law. Some of the cases discussed include Amistad, Dred Scott, Plessy v. Ferguson, Scottsboro, Korematsu v. US, Brown v. Board, Loving v. Virginia, Regents v. Bakke, and OJ Simpson. All illustrate how race often determined the outcome of trials, and how trials that confront issues of racism provide a unique lens on American cultural history. Cases include African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and Caucasians. Contributors include a mix of junior and senior scholars in law schools and history departments.

A Slave in the White House: Paul Jennings and the Madisons

Elizabeth Dowling Taylor

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Paul Jennings was born into slavery on the plantation of James and Dolley Madison in Virginia, later becoming part of the Madison household staff at the White House. Once finally emancipated by Senator Daniel Webster later in life, he would give an aged and impoverished Dolley Madison, his former owner, money from his own pocket, write the first White House memoir, and see his sons fight with the Union Army in the Civil War. He died a free man in northwest Washington at 75. Based on correspondence, legal documents, and journal entries rarely seen before, this amazing portrait of the times reveals the mores and attitudes toward slavery of the nineteenth century, and sheds new light on famous characters such as James Madison, who believed the white and black populations could not coexist as equals; French General Lafayette who was appalled by this idea; Dolley Madison, who ruthlessly sold Paul after her husband's death; and many other since forgotten slaves, abolitionists, and civil right activists.

Vernon Can Read!: A Memoir

Vernon Jordan

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As a young college student in Atlanta, Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. had a summer job driving a white banker around town. During the man’s post-luncheon siestas, Jordan passed the time reading books, a fact that astounded his boss. “Vernon can read!” the man exclaimed to his relatives. Nearly fifty years later, Vernon Jordan, now a senior executive at Lazard Freres, long-time civil rights leader, adviser and close friend to presidents and business leaders and one of the most charismatic figures in America, has written an unforgettable book about his life and times.

                The story of Vernon Jordan’s life encompasses the sweeping struggles, changes, and dangers of African-American life in the civil rights revolution of the second half of the twentieth century.

 

 

By Annette Gordon-Reed The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (Reprint)

Annette Gordon-Reed

Best price for this book: $ 20.97

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