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Twilight at Monticello: The Final Years of Thomas Jefferson, Library Edition
 
 
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Twilight at Monticello: The Final Years of Thomas Jefferson, Library Edition [Audiobook, CD, Unabridged] [CD]

Alan Pell Crawford , James Boles


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Much has been written about Thomas Jefferson, with good reason: His life was a great American drama–one of the greatest–played out in compelling acts. He was the architect of our democracy, a visionary chief executive who expanded this nation’s physical boundaries to unimagined lengths. But Twilight at Monticello is something entirely new: an unprecedented and engrossing personal look at the intimate Jefferson in his final years that will change the way readers think about this true American icon. It was during these years–from his return to Monticello in 1809 after two terms as president until his death in 1826–that Jefferson’s idealism would be most severely, and heartbreakingly, tested.

Based on new research and documents culled from the Library of Congress, the Virginia Historical Society, and other special collections, including hitherto unexamined letters from family, friends, and Monticello neighbors, Alan Pell Crawford paints an authoritative and deeply moving portrait of Thomas Jefferson as private citizen–the first original depiction of the man in more than a generation.

Here, told with grace and masterly detail, is Jefferson with his family at Monticello, dealing with illness and the indignities wrought by early-nineteenth-century medicine; coping with massive debt and the immense costs associated with running a grand residence; navigating public disputes and mediating family squabbles; receiving dignitaries and corresponding
with close friends, including John Adams, the Marquis de Lafayette, and other heroes from the Revolution. Enmeshed as he was in these affairs during his final years, Jefferson was still a viable political force, advising his son-in-law Thomas Randolph during his terms as Virginia governor, helping the administration of his good friend President James Madison during the “internal improvements” controversy, and establishing the first wholly secular American institution of higher learning, the University of Virginia at Charlottesville. We also see Jefferson’s views on slavery evolve, along with his awareness of the costs to civil harmony exacted by the Founding Fathers’ failure to effectively reconcile slaveholding within a republic dedicated to liberty.

Right up until his death on the fiftieth anniversary of America’s founding, Thomas Jefferson remained an indispensable man, albeit a supremely human one. And it is precisely that figure Alan Pell Crawford introduces to us in the revelatory Twilight at Monticello.

'Crawford (Thunder on the Right) offers his own equally compelling look, in this case at Jefferson's life, post-presidency, from 1809 until his death in 1826. Then a private citizen, Jefferson was burdened by financial and personal and political struggles within his extended family. His beloved estate, Monticello, was costly to maintain and Jefferson was in debt. Newly studying primary sources, Crawford thoroughly conveys the pathos of Jefferson's last years, even as he successfully established the University of Virginia (America's first wholly secular university) and maintained contact with James Madison, John Adams, and other luminaries. He personally struggled with political, moral, and religious issues; Crawford shows us a complex, self-contradictory, idealistic, yet tragic figure, helpless to stabilize his family and finances. Historians and informed readers alike will find much to relish in both of these distinctive works of original scholarship. Both are recommended for academic and large public libraries.
–Library Journal

“In "Twilight at Monticello," Alan Pell Crawford treats his subject with grace and sympathetic understanding, and with keen penetration as well, showing the great man's contradictions (and hypocrisies) for what they were.”
–Wall Street Journal


“Like all people, famous or almost unknown, Jefferson was a mass of contradictions. Crawford explores them masterfully, thus indeed presenting a new Jefferson for a new generation.”
–Houston Chronicle

“…a worthy addition to the already enormous body of Thomas Jefferson scholarship. Crawford did his homework well, using literally dozens of sources to give us an unvarnished picture of the human side of one of America’s greatest leaders in an entertaining, fast-moving narrative. You might never loom at Monticello in quite the same way again after reading this book.”
–The Fredericksburg (Va.) Free-Lance Star --このテキストは、 ハードカバー 版に関連付けられています。

レビュー

WASHINGTON POST BESTSELLER

“Intimate and detailed . . . [Alan Pell Crawford] had access to thousands of family letters–some previously unexamined by historians–that he used to create his portrait of the complex idealist, [and] there are some surprising tidbits to be found.”
–Associated Press

“[A] well-researched look at Jefferson, and even readers with only a passing interest in our third president should find it fascinating.”
–Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Insightful analysis and lucid prose make this autumnal portrait a rewarding experience.”
–Kirkus Reviews


From the Trade Paperback edition. --このテキストは、 ハードカバー 版に関連付けられています。

登録情報

  • CD
  • 出版社: Tantor Media Inc; Unabridged版 (2008/02)
  • 言語: 英語, 英語, 英語
  • ISBN-10: 1400136180
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400136186
  • 発売日: 2008/02
  • 商品パッケージの寸法: 17 x 2.3 x 16.3 cm
  •  カタログ情報、または画像について報告


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Amazon.com: 5つ星のうち 4.6  54 件のカスタマーレビュー
43 人中、40人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 5.0 Jefferson's Retirement Years 2008/1/18
投稿者 Ronald H. Clark - (Amazon.com)
形式:ハードカバー|Amazonで購入
I found this recent study to nicely complement the standard book on this topic, Dumas Malone's concluding volume to his magisterial "Jefferson and his Time" series, "The Sage of Monticello" (1981). The book benefits from intervening research on TJ, including perhaps some additional documentary sources. The author has held a residential fellowship at one of the leading resources for Jeffersonian research, the International Center for Jefferson Studies situated near Monticello. However, the tone of the two books is somewhat different. Malone's title foretells the Sage returning home in retirement, to his books, family and farms, while he shapes the creation of the University of Virginia and continues to disseminate political wisdom. By contrast, Crawford's title , "Twilight at Monticello," suggests a less happy period for the retired President. The cover has a picture of Monticello in decay, somewhat after TJ's death. And many of the chapters are devoted to unfortunate and unpleasant events that afflicted TJ during his retirement. While the author's research is impressive, as reflected in 40 pages of helpful notes, he manages to cover the topic in 300 or so pages, as compared with Malone's exhaustive 537-page treatment. The author also brings to bear a more critical tone in assessing Jefferson during this period than Malone, who was (in addition to being a fine historian) distinctively a founding member of the Jefferson Establishment, centered at UVA, which undertook as much veneration of TJ as critical analysis of the third President. Jefferson is truly a complex and maddingly inconsistent figure; that is why solid studies such as this are so interesting to read. The author is to be commended for packing a lot of information into a relatively compact treatment--and Malone always awaits those who want to study the topic in greater detail.
27 人中、26人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 3.0 Jefferson's Not-so-golden years ... 2008/3/15
投稿者 Kevin Quinley - (Amazon.com)
形式:ハードカバー
Author Alan Pell Crawford paints a rather grim portrait of the post-presidential years of the life of Thomas Jefferson. This is not an expose or a hatchet job on the founding father, though. One learns that - like all humans - Jefferson had his flaws and his own personal and family struggles.

Family strife abounded in the Jefferson household. In addition, Jefferson was not an astute money manager of his personal finances. His indebtedness weighed and preyed upon him heavier and heavier as his longevity extended. Monticello was a rather high-maintenance and uncomfortable place to live.

Interestingly, Crawford does seem to weigh in on the side of those historians who think that Jefferson had a black mistress in the form of Sally Hemmings.

Again, though, this is not a scandalous book or an attempt to show that Jefferson had feet of clay. For those who seek a glimpse of Jefferson the man, it will perhaps be comforting to know that he was human just like all of us and struggled with many of life's common challenges and temptations.
15 人中、15人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 5.0 A wonderful and intriguing read! 2008/4/29
投稿者 Arlene Wands - (Amazon.com)
形式:ハードカバー
I can't tell you how somehow comforted I am that there are others out there who "got it"! Alan Pell Crawford has written a remarkable book. It's been a while since I found a book so intriguing that I could not put it down!
Jefferson was a complicated man -- and here in the 21st century, it's almost impossible to REALLY understand the thought processes, the logic, the "why?" of someone who lived under very different circumstances. We are products of our time. And so was Jefferson.
The beauty of Crawford's work is that he bridges that chasm -- as best as anyone can -- to explain HOW, for example, an ex-president (and creator of the Declaration of Independence!) could end up in such financial dire straits. How the times and political climate played a role. How family squabbles and obligations add to financial strain (some things never change!).
And yes, how it was very possible that Jefferson could have fathered the children of a slave. (I commend Crawford for not dipping into the "sensational" or treating the topic as some kind of an "exposé." He dealt with facts and probabilities - his explanation as to how the architecture of Monticello could've been conducive to "nocturnal visits" was beautifully researched, and yes, believable.)
So many historical biographies are frankly dull. Laden with facts, but missing that spark of life that makes a book breathable. Twilight at Monticello is a wonderful read - and very, very thought-provoking.
11 人中、11人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 5.0 Give This Book Your Time 2008/3/19
投稿者 Bill Emblom - (Amazon.com)
形式:ハードカバー
Thomas Jefferson certainly lived a full life as one of our founding fathers, primary author of the Declaration of Independence, and founder of the University of Virginia. He was very meticulous in the care his slaves gave to both Monticello the building and the grounds on which it stood. Jefferson's feelings regarding slavery are a mixed bag. He "trembled for our country" when he realized that God was just, and although he may not have physically mistreated his slaves himself he had others do the whipping. He loved his books, many of which were burned in Washington, D.C. when the British attacked the city in 1812. The fact that education was very important to him is demonstrated when grandson Jeff Randolph had his portrait painted by Rembrandt Peale. Jefferson had the portrait hung in the second tier below those of Adams, Franklin, and Lafayette. "Had you been educated," Jefferson told his grandson, "you would have been entitled to a place in the first--you'll always occupy the second." This was a period in time when women often died early after child-bearing, and men then moved on to marry someone else. Jefferson had many descendants, and alcohol and family squabbles often played a prominent part. Poor health often plagued him in his declining years such as bouts with boils on his buttocks, diarrhea, and constipation. Monticello fell into decline with Jefferson's death, and the mansion and grounds (except the cemetery grounds), slaves, and other household mementos were sold to a Charlottesville resident. Several of his remaining books were placed in the University of Virginia. As most everyone knows both Jefferson and John Adams died on July 4, 1826, exactly fifty years after our country's declaring its independence from England. He lived a full life, but he also had a number of problems that families continue to go through today. Young people in particular should familiarize themselves with American history, and this book gives an excellent insight into one of our country's giants.
8 人中、8人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 5.0 Despite all his problems................ 2008/4/2
投稿者 Robert C. Hufford - (Amazon.com)
形式:ハードカバー
........Thomas Jefferson never lost hope. And that alone would make him remarkable, because his last 17 years were filled with trouble. Dr. Crawford has given us an excellent study of the final years of a very great man. While not a biography in any conventional sense, the first 50 pages give us a fairly complete overview of Mr. Jefferson's first 66 years. Upon leaving the White House, Jefferson went home to a rundown farm, a family filled with strife, massive debts, and had to face it with no pension [Presidential pensions didn't arrive till Harry Truman needed one]. Without his daughter, Patsy, and grandson, Jeff, even he would have crumbled.

Thomas Jefferson always dreamed of establishing a haven for his family. Unfortunately, there was no money to do it, but that didn't stop him from trying. He loved his grandchildren, and lavished them with gifts...and the debts got worse. He tried to farm...but tobacco had depleted the soil...and the debts got worse. He co-signed a note for a friend...and the debts became impossible. His grandchildren had problems among themselves...and his heart was broken. His son-in-law was a piece of garbage [notwithstanding three terms as Governor of Virginia]. Still, Jefferson tried to stand by him. He hated slavery, but kept his own slaves. Thru it all, Jefferson never lost faith, never ceased his interest in public affairs. And, he founded the University of Virginia. Old, sick, broke, and beset; he made it work.

Dr. Crawford has an interesting take on the "Tom and Sally" controversy. While appearing to side with those who would vote "guilty", he freely states that there is no proof, and there are other alternatives. But, he then makes a point I haven't seen before, and for which I admit I have no ready answer: if Jefferson wasn't having sex with his slave[s], he was perfectly willing for others to do so...family...friends...casual acquaintences...day-laborers. Not a protecting master.

Thomas Jefferson was a man of many parts, massive ability, and endless contradictions [which never bothered him], to whom we owe much. He was not without faults, and most of his problems were of his own making. Still, he never lost faith in himself, his family, or America. Some of the stories and pictures will make you cry. But, you will in no wise question that a true giant walked among us.
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