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Jefferson the Virginian (Jefferson and His Time) Paperback – May 4, 2006


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Jefferson the Virginian (Jefferson and His Time) + The Sage of Monticello (Jefferson & His Time (University of Virginia Press)) + John Adams
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Product Details

  • Series: Jefferson and His Time (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 484 pages
  • Publisher: University of Virginia Press (May 4, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813923611
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813923611
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,246,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Malone is the giant on whose shoulders every subsequent scholar of Jefferson stands, and his work remains seminal in shaping our understanding of who Jefferson was. Both from a purely scholarly standpoint and outside the groves of academe, Malone’s biography of Jefferson is simply a great read. There is a whole new generation of Jefferson lovers who will want to own this set.

(Joseph J. Ellis, National Book Award–winning author of American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson)

Prodigiously researched and felicitously written, Dumas Malone’s multi-volume Jefferson and His Time is one of the great biographies of the 20th century.

(New Republic)

About the Author

Dumas Malone, 1892–1986, spent thirty-eight years researching and writing Jefferson and His Time. In 1975 he received the Pulitzer Prize in history for the first five volumes. From 1923 to 1929 he taught at the University of Virginia; he left there to join the Dictionary of American Biography, bringing that work to completion as editor-in-chief. Subsequently, he served for seven years as director of the Harvard University Press. After serving on the faculties of Yale and Columbia, Malone retired to the University of Virginia in 1959 as the Jefferson Foundation Professor of History, a position he held until his retirement in 1962. He remained at the university as biographer-in-residence and finished his Jefferson biography at the University of Virginia, where it was begun.


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Customer Reviews

I read this for AP American History in high school and had to read it again.
Robert Seal
I also recommend The Constitutional Thought of Thomas Jefferson by David Meyer and Mr. Jefferson by Albert Jay Nock.
R. Setliff
While a vast and comprehensive work, it is so well written and organized as to be easily accessible to all.
G. Zilly

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Randall Ivey on October 5, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Malone, once called "the greatest Jeffersonian of them all", originally conceived this biography in four volumes. By the time he published the last book in 1982, at age 89, it had grown to six volumes. It remains the standard life of Jefferson, an indelible and important portrait of a great man, flaws and all, by a great scholar.
JEFFERSON THE VIRGINIAN begins things with Jefferson's birth into a family of much distinction. His father Peter was a noted surveyor and a man of inordinate physical strength who nevertheless died fairly young (in his fifties). The book covers Jefferon's education at William and Mary (at a time when formal education was not a widespread thing, even among the gentry), his law practice, his beginning the construction of Monticello (which would preoccupy him right up until the time of his death), his terms in the Virginia House of Burgesses (one of which was served after his governorship), his writing of the Declaration of Independence (his initial version, a scathing indictment of King George, had to be toned down by his compatriots), and his controversial governorship (in which he sustained much of the blame for the British army's inroads into the Old Dominion state). It ends with his appointment as an American ambassador to France.
Obviously this is no primer on Jefferson. Malone spares no detail. His prose is fastidious, elegant, and easy to read, although you may find yourself putting the book down from time to time to absorb what you have just read. Overall, Jefferson emerges here as a man naturally scholarly and reclusive, content to build his home, pursue his studies, and tend to his family, who is pushed into action by the obligations of his caste and by his own fervent patriotism.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mark T. Peterson on May 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
The dedication of one man (Malone) to the life of another (Jefferson) speaks volumes (at least 6, to be precise) as to the character of both men. This collection is a thoroughly crafted summary of an astonishing and complex man. While it fails (by not attempting) to shed light on the enigma of Jefferson's soul, it thoroughly illuminates Jefferson's path from cradle to grave. While arguably hagiographic, its completeness provides the reason why this should be the stepping-off point of any aspiring Jefferson scholar. I am not sure which amazes me more: That one man can write over 3000 pages on another and only scratch the surface of the other's existence or that one man can write over 3000 pages on another.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By M. A Newman VINE VOICE on December 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
What can be said about this monument to Jefferson scholarship? I am sure that somewhere in universities around the United States there are "scholar squirrels who want to put down this invaluable resource in Jefferson studies. It is always the way that mice attempt to gnaw at lions. This is not a perfect work (and my remarks refer to all of the books in the series as a whole), there are somethings, namely Sally Hemmings references which are wrong and will not sit well with American 21st century mores. There is the issue of slavery which was handled much differently 50 years ago than it is now.
Jefferson is not worthy of our interest because of Sally Hemmings and because he kept slaves. Jefferson is great because of the Declaration of Independence and his fight for the rights of man. While it may have been hypocritical to preach liberty and keep slaves, it is doubtful that slavery ever would have been abolished if Jefferson had never gained the prominence that he did. This book and the others that follow show why we should continue to honor the public man even though his private side may have been wanting.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Joe Zika TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Jefferson: The Virginian by Dumas Malone is a masterful work on Thomas Jefferson's early years, from birth to being appointed as an ambassador to France.
This work is one of the first comprehensive biographies of Jefferson's life. This is the first of six in the complete set. Malone is a distinguished historian so you will read about Jefferson's ancestry, along with Jefferson's youth, education, legal career, his marriage, the construction of Monticello. Not that was enough for one man's life, but we see the writing of the Declaration of Independence and Jefferson's work on the "Notes on Virginia."
We get an insight as to how Jefferson conducted his highly successful legislative career and his governorship. But what we do NOT see is the soul of Jefferson... the man, the human being. We get facts and more facts about a very complex individual and a monumental man. But the richness of the breath of life is left out.
Nonetheless, the book is a very scholarly work, one of the first to complete a comphensive work on a mulitfarious man. I enjoyed reading this volume for its historical importance and significance. This volume lays the ground work on which all of the other volumes set.
This work being well documented is a good start into reading about the life and times of Thomas Jefferson. One fact the comes through loud and clear... Jefferson is a Virginian foremost and always... there is no mistaking that fact.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By eunomius on November 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
Malone's biography of Jefferson is one of the greatest works of historical scholarship ever written. It is an absolute must for every serious student of Jefffeson or the times he lived in. At times Malone's personal preferences and opinions creep into the narrative. This can be seen most clearly during his discussion of Jefferson's draft of the Kentucky Resolutions. Due to his clear Unionist slant, it seems almost as if he is apologizing for Jefferson's ardent state's rights sentiments. Nevertheless, every important issue and event in Jefferson's long life is dealth with ably and with ample documentation, leaving the reader to decide what he or she feels. It is amazing that one man devoted the last four decades of his life to writing this work. All I can say is that it was a noble enterprise, and that the world is in his debt.
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