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Annette Gordon-Reed Books In Order

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy (With: Thomas Jefferson) (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Vernon Can Read! (With: Vernon E. Jordan Jr.) (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Race on Trial: Law and Justice in American History (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Andrew Johnson (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Most Blessed of the Patriarchs: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination (With: Peter S. Onuf) (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
On Juneteenth (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Jubilee(2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Carving Out a Humanity: Race, Rights, and Redemption(2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Annette Gordon-Reed
Annette Gordon-Reed is history and memoir author best known for The Hemingses of Monticello book. For her work in The Hemingses of Monticello, this author received a National Book Award for Nonfiction and a Pulitzer Prize of History, among other 15 prizes.

Her other notable works include Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings and On Juneteenth. Annette is also a professor of history at Rutgers University and a law professor at New York Law School.

She has also served as a National Humanities Center trustee since 2018 and is a member of the American Philosophical Society. The talented author lives in New York with her husband and two children.

The Hemingses of Monticello
The Hemingses of Monticello is a detailed memoir that outlines the life of a family with close ties to the U.S third president. Historian Annette Gordon-Reed traces this family from the 1700s to the 1800s, when the family was dispersed following Jefferson’s death.

In the mid-1700s, an English captain in charge of a ship that made trips between England and Virginia fathered a child with a slave living near Williamsburg. This captain’s surname was Hemings, and together with this unknown woman of African descent, they had a daughter and named her Elizabeth. The Eppeses owned this enslaved woman.

Many years later, Elizabeth’s path with her father’s family would cross again.

The narrative unfolds and goes beyond Elizabeth Hemings, the family matriarch. Elizabeth was a mother of 12 and bore six children by John Wayles, an immigrant who amassed great wealth quickly.

When Jefferson marries Martha Wayles, the Hemings become Jefferson property and contribute a great deal to the family estate. We also get a glimpse of Sarah Hemings’s life. Just fourteen years in age, Sarah becomes Jefferson’s daughter Polly chaperone and becomes more than family as years progressed.
James Hemings, Sarah’s brother, was a chef who also worked in the Jeffersons after training in prestigious kitchens in France.

Over her 38-years of liaison with Jefferson, Sarah Hemings, popularly known as Sally, bore seven children.

Mary Hemings lived with her white merchant partner for years.

He left Mary and their kids’ property and a beautiful home. At the time, Robert Hemings was in Richmond, busy trying to find his freedom. Finally, in Monticello, Jefferson’s slaves, most of them members of the Hemings family, were actioned and dispersed in 1826, six months after his passing.
On these pages, the author vividly shows the blood ties between the Hemingses and the third president. The author also shows a different side of enslaved people of color and their relationship with their masters.

One of the unanswered questions is why Sally Hemings and her brother James never sought freedom from Jefferson.

The Hemingses of Monticello is an outstanding history story that recounts an important part of America’s story. At the heart of it is the tale of the Hemings family and how they came to live on the property of their relative only to be unceremoniously auctioned when Jefferson dies.
Through this book, the author draws a clear picture of what it was like to be a slave in the 18th and 19th centuries. Imagine being treated as property, recorded in farm books, and at the mercy of your owner’s whims.

The slaves only played as side characters in their owners’ lives, and most of the time, everyone acted as if they were invisible. This book also serves as a celebration of the journey to freedom and a reminder that a lot still needs to be done to right all the wrongs done in the past.

On Juneteenth
On Juneteenth gives a detailed account of the long road to freedom while acknowledging African-Americans role in building the country. The author details how Juneteenth originated in Texas and the hardships African-Americans had to endure long after being declared free.

The author is a descendant of enslaved people who came to Texas in the early 1820s. For over 40 years, her descendants were held as slaves until Galveston ended legalized slavery within the state on June 19, 1865. While she is a proud Texan, the author doesn’t shy from painting a clear picture showing how people of color were treated before the era of slavery came to an end.

This book comes in the form of short essays. The author does an excellent job of showing how unique Texas is with all its disparate characters. Bordering a foreign nation shows how the state’s relationship with its neighbors has contributed to its uniqueness.

She also borrows a lot from her own experiences growing up in Texas and surrounded by people who had experienced the devastating effects of slavery. From her writing, it is clear that the author is a brilliant historian and an outstanding writer.

This is an eloquent and clear presentation of American. If you know little about Juneteenth and its importance to the African-American community, these essays will answer all your questions and much more.

This thought-provoking book also serves as a reminder that the fight for equality still exists even now that Juneteenth is a public holiday.
Through her own experiences, the author shows how current conditions fall short of the expectation of many people of color when independence was declared on June 19th.

You will agree with the author that there are still shortcomings that must be dealt with for the entire society to move forward.
On Juneteenth is a collection of essays that highlight the plight of enslaved people of color in the hands of their masters. This little book also gives a detailed account of life in Texas from the time slaves were first settled in the state in the 1820s to date.

It is amazing how the author blends her own experiences and the historical perspective so that this doesn’t read like a history textbook. The novel comes in the form of short essays that are easy to read and follow. Since the entire book is slightly over 150 pages, it is a perfect choice for anyone looking for a quick read on American history, especially on matters of slavery.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Annette Gordon-Reed

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