The Garden and Farm Books of Thomas Jefferson, Edited by Robert C. Baron. Fulcrum, Inc. 1987. Hardback. 528 pages. For nearly sixty years Jefferson kept both a garden book and a farm book in which he recorded his thoughts and the details of his horticultural efforts. This volume publishes these records, including several plates in Jefferson's own handwriting. No Jefferson collection is complete without this raw data.
The Gardens of Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, by Peter J. Hatch. Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, Inc. 1992. Paperback. 56 pages. This is a good introduction to Jefferson's gardens. It is well written and covers the basics. It has lots of good pictures of the gardens as they are today and just enough history to be worth the read. A good buy at $4.95 list.
In Pursuit of Reason: The Life of Thomas Jefferson, by Noble E. Cunningham, Jr. 1987. Ballantine Books. Hardback. 405 pages. Purchased 12/17/15.
Jefferson: Archetect of American Liberty, by John B. Boles. 2017. Basic Books. Hardback. 626 pages. Purchased 6/23/17.
Jefferson and Civil Liberties: The Darker Side, by Leonard W. Levy. 1963. Elephant Paperbacks. Paperback. 225 pages. This book posits the theory that Jefferson's record on civil liberties was not purely libertarian. The author freely acknowledges in his preface that "balance has not been my objective" and that the purpose of the book "is mainly to depict the side of Jefferson that others have tended to neglect."
Jefferson and His Time: The Sage of Monticello by Dumas Malone. Little, Brown and Company. 1981. Hardback. 551 pages. This is the sixth and final volume of Malone's six volume study of Jefferson. It covers the last seventeen years of Jefferson's life.
Jefferson and Monticello: The Biography of a Builder, by Jack McLaughlin. Henry Holt and Company, Inc. 1988. Paperback. 481 pages. There is much detailed information about Jefferson, especially in his role as architect/builder. McLaugline is given to psychological conclusions that are a bit thin on the evidence, but this is a fine read and a very revealing look at Jefferson. This book was nominated for the National Book Award in 1988. Well worth the reading.
Jefferson and the Rights of Man by Dumas Malone. Little, Brown and Company. 1951. Hardback. 523 pages. This is the second volume of Malone's six volume study of Jefferson. It covers the time he spent in France through his term as secretary of State. A must read
The Jefferson Bible: The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, Extracted textually from the Gospels in Greek, Latin, French & English selected by Thomas Jefferson. Beacon Press. 1989. Hardback. 171 pages. In 1798 and 1799 Jefferson conceived the idea of writing on religion. Eventually he came up with the idea of buying several Bibles and extracting the parts of the four Gospels he considered genuine and pasting them in a blank book. Like many of his projects, this one was a long time maturing. Most likely the Extracts were completed in 1820. The Jefferson Bible contains those final selections.
Jefferson Himself, Edited by Bernard Mayo. The University Pres of Virginia. 1942. Paperback. 384 pages. This is a wonderful collection of the writings of Jefferson, including many of his letters. This book has the virtue of being heavily footnoted with the dates and correspondents of the letters .
Jefferson the Man: In His Own Words, Edited by Robert C Baron. 1993. Fulcrum/Starwood Publishing. Hardback. 54 pages. This is a nice collection of quotes from Jefferson's correspondence on various subjects. It is a fairly short book, but a nice introduction to Jefferson's thoughts.
Jefferson the Virginian, by Dumas Malone. Little, Brown and Company. 1948. Hardback. 484 pages. This is the first volume of Malone's six volume study of Jefferson. It covers his early career. Comprehensive. Don't miss it.
Plants of Colonial Days, by Raymond L. Taylor.Dover Publications, Inc., 1996, 1959. Paperback. 107 pages. This book was originally subtitled A Guide to One Hundred & Sixty Flowers, Shrubs, and Trees in the Gardens of Colonial Williamsburg when it was published in 1959. The book list plants grown at Colonial Williamsburg. It is very good at explaining the significance behind the botanical name and when a plant was introduced to the Colonies (or whether it was a native). The book identifies plants grown by Jefferson, and that is why I have included it here.
The Political Writings of Thomas Jefferson, edited by Edward Dumbauld. Macmillan Publishing Company. 1985. Paperback. 204 pages. This book collects many of the important political writings by Thomas Jefferson. It includes drafts of ordinances, bills and speeches and letters on various political subjects.
The Portable Thomas Jefferson, Edited by Merrill D. Peterson. Penguin Books. 1975. Paperback. 589 pages. This is a standard one-volume collection of selections from the writings of Thomas Jefferson. It is a compact volume, and the price is right.
Seeds of Extinction: Jeffersonian Philanthropy and the American Indian, by Bernard W. Sheehan. W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 1973. Paperback. 301 pages.
1776: A Musical Play, by Peter Stone and Sherman Edwards. The Viking Press. 1964. Paperback. 171 pages. This is a musical about the writing of the Declaration of Independence. No fan of Jefferson should miss this play, or the movie version of it. Much of the dialogue is taken from the actual writings of the founding fathers. The CD of the soundtrack is also interesting.
Thomas Jefferson and the Changing West, Edited by James P. Ronda. 1997. University of New Mexico Press. Paperback. 204 pages.
Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy, by Annette Gordon-Reed. University Press of Virginia. 1997. Hardback. 288 pages. This book by Law Professor Annette Gordon-Reed examines the evidence related to Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. This controversy lives even in the face of 1998 DNA tests.
Thomas Jefferson on Wine, by John Hailman. University Press of Mississippi/Jackson. 2006. Hardback. 457 pages.
Thomas Jefferson's Cook Book, by Marie Kimball. Univeristy Press of Virginia. 1976. Hardback. 122 pages. This book is based on recipes saved by Virginia Randolph, Martha Jefferson Randolph's fifth daughter. It has been modernized. For example, gelatine is substituted for calves' hoofs. It includes Jefferson's recipe for ice cream. If you want to eat like Jefferson, this is the guidebook.
Thomas Jefferson's Flower Garden at Monticello, by Edwin M Betts and Hazlehurst Bolton Perkins and Revised and Enlarged by Peter J. Hatch. Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, Inc. 1971, 1986. Paperback. 96 pages. This is an excellent treatment of the flower garden at Monticello. It is a nice introduction and has a comprehensive list of flowers Jefferson grew. Well written.
Thomas Jefferson's Freethought Legacy: A Saying Per Day by the Sage of Monticello, by Roger E. Greeley. Prometheus Books. 1995. Hardback. 138 pages. This is a great collection of quotes by Jefferson, arranged one per day. They reveal his belief in the power of reason, his libertarian tendancies, his belief in the separation of church and state and his opposition to a strong central government. This is a great way to sample Jefferson's thoughts.
Thomas Jefferson: Statesman of Science, by Silvio A Bedini. MacMillan Publishing Company. 1990. 616 pages. This book focuses on Jefferson's scientific interests. It contains many heretofore unpublished letters. Hardback.
Thomas Jefferson Versus Religious Oppresion, by Frank Swancara. University Books. 1969. Hardback. 160 pages. Thomas Jefferson prescribed his own epitaph. It read: HERE WAS BURIED THOMAS JEFFERSON AUTHOR OF THE DECLARATION OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE, OF THE STATUTE OF VIRGINIA FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, AND FATHER OF THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA. This book is an analysis of the Statute for Religious Freedom as juxtaposed with the culture of the time.
To His Excellency Thomas Jefferson: Letters to a President, selected and edited by Jack McLaughlin. WW Norton & Company. 1991. Hardback. 344 pages. This is an engaging book by the author of Jefferson and Monticello. It is a collection of letters with brief comments by Mr. McLaughlin. Interesting reading for fans of Jefferson.
Visitors to Monticello, Edited by Merrill D. Peterson. University Press of Virginia. 1989. Paperback. 210 pages. Jefferson had a steady stream of visitors to Monticello over the years. This book collects the written recollections of various guests to Monticello. It is a wonderful source of views of Monticello from the visitor's perspective.
The World of Thomas Jefferson, by Joseph Farber and Wendell Garrett. Weathervane Books. 1971. Hardback. 208 pages. This is a neat book to have at hand when reading about Jefferson. Farber took black and white pictures of the interiors and exteriors of the significant places where events in Jefferson's life took place. The book does not content itself with the usual pictures of Monticello, but also includes views related to Jefferson's youth, schooling, term in France, etc.
Last revised January 23, 2000
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