The Road to Monticello: The Life and Mind of Thomas Jefferson

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Overview

The Road to Monticello provides an invaluable look at Thomas Jefferson's intellectual and literary life, uncovering the roots of some of the most important - and influential - ideas that have informed American history.
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The Road to Monticello: The Life and Mind of Thomas Jefferson

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Overview

The Road to Monticello provides an invaluable look at Thomas Jefferson's intellectual and literary life, uncovering the roots of some of the most important - and influential - ideas that have informed American history.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Another study of Thomas Jefferson, but with a difference: this one focuses on Jeffersona's thought, especially on its development from his youth. The booka's freshness and immediacy lie in the authora's emphasis on the libraries Jefferson accumulated and the marginal notes he left in the books he read. Hayes, a scholar of reading habits and print culture, takes us through Jeffersona's hugely wide and eclectic reading with an ease and lightness often missing from a subject central to American history: how Jefferson came to possess the ideas that have resonated through Americaa's concept of itself. The result is lengthy-necessarily so, for no contemporaries (John Adams excepted) read and collected books as widely as Jefferson. His marginalia and correspondence and the books he purchased yield a remarkable record of one mana's responses to what his mind encountered, absorbed and rejected. While the book wona't appeal to those who want to learn more of Jeffersona's active life, it will enlighten and delight all those drawn to Jefferson and the early years of so many classic American ideas. 12 b&w illus. (Aug.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

In what will surely be the definitive work on the subject, Hayes (English, Univ. of Central Oklahoma; The Oxford Companion to Early American Literature) presents a scrupulously researched examination of the reading habits and thinking of our third President, effectively a biography of Thomas Jefferson's intellect over the course of his life. More than any previous researcher, Hayes has consulted the marginalia that Jefferson penned in the books that he owned, from his childhood favorites in the vernacular to authors such as Cicero, whom he read in the original Latin, and contemporaries like Joseph Priestley. Chronologically, Hayes discusses Jefferson's personal libraries: the one that was mostly destroyed by fire at Shadwell in 1770, the one he sold to the Library of Congress, the one he sold to James Madison, his vacation library at Poplar Forest, and his retirement library. The author's admiration for Jefferson is evident. Although Jefferson's public career has always been granted close examination, Hayes demonstrates that Jefferson's life of the mind also merits the close study provided here. Highly recommended for academic libraries and large public libraries.
—Thomas J. Schaeper

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195307580
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 7/1/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 752
  • Sales rank: 1,318,816
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin J. Hayes is Professor of English at the University of Central Oklahoma and the author of A Colonial Woman's Bookshelf, An American Cycling Odyssey, Melville's Folk Roots, and Poe and the Printed Word.

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Table of Contents

Pt. I The Education of Thomas Jefferson

1 Fire!

2 A Boy and His Books 15

3 A Correct, Classical Scholar 30

4 William and Mary 43

5 The Williamsburg Circle 57

6 The Limits of English Law 73

7 A Shelf of Notebooks 86

8 Becoming a Burgess 102

Pt. II Family and Nation

9 Domestic Life and Literary Pursuits 117

10 Rude Bard of the North 133

11 A Summary View of the Rights of British America 147

12 The Pen and the Tomahawk 161

137 The Declaration of Independence 174

14 The Book Culture of Philadelphia and Williamsburg, Contrasted 191

15 Of Law and Learning 207

16 Lines of Communication 220

17 Notes on the State of Virginia 233

18 The Narrow House 247

19 An American Odyssey 260

Pt. III Our Man in Paris

20 Bookman in Paris 275

21 Talking about Literature 293

22 London Town 309

23 Summer of '86 326

24 An Inquisitive Journey through France and Italy 340

25 A Tour through Holland and the Rhine Valley 355

26 Last Days in Paris 369

Pt. IV Servant of the People

27 The Young Idea 383

28 The Anas 404

29 Letters from a Virginia Farmer 418

30 The Vice President and the Printed Word 432

31 The First Inaugural Address 449

32 The Wall of Separation 461

33 "Life of Captain Lewis" 478

34 The President as Patron of Literature 495

Pt. V Monticello

35 Return to Monticello 515

36 Letters to an Old Friend 532

37 The Library of Congress 546

38 The Retirement Library 564

39 The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth 581

40 The Autobiography 595

41 The University of Virginia from Dream to Reality 613

42 The Life and Soul of the University 628

Acknowledgments 645

An Essay on Sources 647

Notes 655

Index 711

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2011

    Readable and Fascinating

    President Kennedy once opened a meeting of nobel laureates by saying, "I think this is the greatest assembly of talent and intellect at the White House, with the exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone." Reading this book, you will arrive at the same conclusion. Jefferson's intellectual development may seem a scholarly or dry topic, but this book makes the man and his time come alive, and will make you think too. Highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    Monticello

    My school went to momticello today and i got "the words of thomas jefferson" book and i reaaly want this book and also want thomas jefersons bible.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent

    Highly recommend this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    One of the 2 or 3 best books of history/biography I've ever read.

    It made me want to go where Jefferson went, see what he saw, and meet the people he knew. There were pages where it felt like that's what I was doing. It made me realize as never before how astonishingly educated Jefferson and many of the other founders were. Most of all it made me want to read what he read - and what he wrote. On page 283 Professor Hayes says, "In the hands of a sensitive reader, a book has the power to transcend the text it contains and become something magical." I don't consider myself a particularly sensitive reader, but this book was magic for me. I don't keep most of the books I read, but this one I will keep, and read again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2008

    A reviewer

    We have all read the declaration of independence, but how much thought did we give to the influences that went into that work.Hayes gives us insite to the people in jefferson's past and preasent who influenced jefferson in his early years as a student of william and mary through his retirement to his mountain top home in virginia. A lover of books he was devistated when his library burnt to the ground, he spent a lifetime gathering books many of which started the library of congrass.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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