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Notes on the State of Virginia (Penguin Classics) annotated edition Edition

26 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0140436679
ISBN-10: 0140436677
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“This is a Bedford book that is long overdue, and David Waldstreicher is a superb choice as editor. This new edition of Notes on the State of Virginia is informed by the more recent scholarship on Jefferson, which the editor knows cold, and it will attract a substantial audience among college teachers, yours truly included.” —Joseph J. Ellis, Mount Holyoke College

“This is an excellent piece of work. Specialists as well as students will learn from the Introduction, and though the Notes are available in many editions, they have never been so attractively and accessibly presented. Also, the very fine selection of additional documents will certainly enhance the reader's appreciation of the Notes.” —Peter S. Onuf, University of Virginia
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

[Peden] has made available the authoritative edition of one of the most important books to emerge in eighteenth-century America. He has set forth the history of its reception and criticism in such a way as to establish his point that in the 'Notes on Virginia' Jefferson 'produced one of America's first permanent literary and intellectual landmarks.'--Virginia Quarterly Review

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; annotated edition edition (December 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140436677
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140436679
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
The book is written much like an epic poem- with lists of river, towns, economic conditions etc in 1780s. But also much more: His feeling on race. He obviously did not hate blacks, proposed a theory that they were less intelligent, had an aesthetic view of man akin to Gulliver's Travels and the horses. Theory of education is much akin to European model of today, much better than current theories in use. He opposed multiculturalism and opposed teaching children religion in schools or anyplace else, preferring Greek, Roman and European histories and philosophy for guidance of children. The difference between the America he wanted and the reality of today is striking. Which is better? Each must judge, but this is a must read book.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful By G. F Gori on April 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Thomas Jefferson's " Notes on the State of Virginia" is a brilliant piece of history, sociology, law, geology, government,and science. This work, Jefferson's only book, shows his powerful, brilliant mind at it's best. Jefferson shows the depth of his knowledge, not just on his own beautiful state, but on human nature itself. Some of the gems in this work are his views on education, advocating free public education for all, free government, advocating a revisal of the defective original Virginia Constitution. His knowledge of slavery, and the Indian races before his eyes are from personal experience and observation. Although painted by the deconstuctionist left as a "racist" Jefferson was a dangerous radical to the Virginia gentry due to his advocacy of emacipation and deportation of slaves. His views on black inferiority are exaggerated since he placed them forth as a scientific hypothesis based on personal observation. Jefferson could not see a "multicultural" society in America made up of former masters and slaves with resentment and prejudice still in the hearts of both. Many of his predictions about race relations have come true: hate, resentment, power struggles, and a continuing obsession which he forsaw would destroy the America Republic.
The best edited version of the is Koch and Peden's edited on in "The Life and Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson", but the full Notes is very good, but the reader must be prepared for numerous charts and tables. Overall a great book, and buy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Arthur C Howard on March 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For those who are fascinated with the life and genius of Thomas Jefferson, this Kindle edition is invaluable. In his letters, Jefferson mentions the Notes several times. Written during the Revolutionary War, it gives his perspective on the state of commerce, wild life, relations with Native Americans, and his personal thoughts on slavery. As an original-source document, it is without a doubt one of the best ways of getting to know Jefferson the man.

The only issue the Kindle edition has is that charts show up very small, unlike the text, but they are decipherable.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 5, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I recomend The book which was edited with an introduction and notes by William Peden. I have an orginal copy of "Notes on the State of Virginia" Second Amarican edition Printed in 1797, on loan to the Monticello, (of which I am welling to part with at the right price). This was a hard book to understand, once I read the one edited by William Peden, I had a much better understanding of what Mr. Jefferson wrote, as well as the history of Mr. Jefferson's efforts in acheaving it's final contents.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Bart Bartlett on December 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a comment on the quality of the binding...not the content of the book (which I haven't read). I ordered this as a gift and specifically chose the "hardbound" copy instead of the "paperback" because it was a gift and I assumed at the price ($63.96) that it would be beautifully bound and keepsake quality. I was nothing less than shocked to receive a small book bound in the manner of children's books. (For those familiar with Nancy Drew books, it's about that size with that type of binding...thin plastic over cardboard and no dust jacket.) I am returning this and ordering the paperback version and using the remaining $50 to buy another gift to go along with it.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 9, 1998
Format: Paperback
How can you rate a book by Thomas Jefferson as anything less than a "10?" I am not an expert on translations or interpretations of historical texts, but this book is well put together with informative footnotes. Anyone who is interested in Virginia and early U.S. history and/or Jeffersonian philosophy will enjoy and use this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Terry Adams on October 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The more I read about Jefferson and by Jefferson the more I understand just how complicated he was. There are some aspects of his life and personality that seem impossible to reside within one person. Lots more reading to do but this is a must read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This document testifies to Thomas Jefferson's true opinions on Africans as a race of people, which was denigrating and coarse. One can compare his writing on the freedoms in the new American republic and his pride in them as a founding patriot, with what he thought of slaves and their intellectual and cultural capacities to function as free people in a free society. He offers a solution to issues around emancipation that would involve deporting all people of African descent, and replacing them by attracting people of the white race to leave their countries and come to America. Jefferson also writes that he fears for the effects that the brutality of the practice of slavery will have on the future of America, as well as God's wrath.
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