Requests for Information Related to Thomas Jefferson



> I am about to start a massive AP History project. It requires that I
> read two books, both from the same time period in US hisotry. I would
> love to do it on jefferson, but one of the books must be a Historical
> Novel. Can you suggest one from Jeffersons time period. Could you also
> suggest a good Biography about Jefferson?

There is a fairly decent historical novel covering the time of Jefferson:
"Burr" by Gore Vidal.  It is a 1973 book, but I think it would be a good
choice.  It also has a fair amount of historical accuracy.  The latest
novels concerning Sally Hemings are mostly speculative nonsense in my
opinion.  I think Burr would give you a better feel for the historical
period and the events and characters that matter as far as the main
events were concerned.

Gore Vidal's "Gore" is available in paperback from as a
mass market paperback for less than $6:

Burr, by Gore Vidal

The standard biography of Jefferson is that by Dumas Malone, but it is a
six volume monster.  A more recent one, Willard Randall's "Thomas
Jefferson: A Life," is a single volume and an easy read; I think it would
be a good choice.  Other recent books focus on certain aspects of
Jefferson, but the Randall book takes a more general approach.

Randall's biography is available in paperback from at a
20% discount:

Thomas Jefferson : A Life

These links are offered in association with

Hope that helps.

Good luck,

Eyler Coates

P.S.  I have a biography of Jefferson on the Internet that is a
revised version of one written shortly after Jefferson's death.  It is
more of a "political biography," since it focuses on his contributions
towards building the new nation.  For that reason, I think it is the most
interesting and exciting.  It is located at the following URL:

Life of Jefferson, by B. L. Rayner
Rayner's lively and interesting full-length biography, published in 1834,
emphasizes the role of republican principles in Jefferson's life and
thought.  It contains many excerpts from Jefferson's writings as well as
anecdotes taken from the writings of those who knew Jefferson.  It
presents a dramatic and passionate portrayal of Jefferson's life, with
special emphasis on his contributions to the creation of the American
republic.  The book is completely revised and corrected, and is divided
into 39 chapters. 


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