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

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  69 ratings  ·  15 reviews
The Road to Monticello This superb new biography focuses on Jefferson's intellectual and literary life. Hayes follows Jefferson's education from adolescence to adulthood, examines his interests, and gives new interpretations of his writings. Full description
Hardcover, 748 pages
Published July 3rd 2008 by Oxford University Press (first published June 3rd 2008)
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Diane Schirf
The Road to Monticello: The Life and Mind of Thomas Jefferson by Kevin J. Hayes. New York: Oxford University Press. 2008. 752 pages.

While I was visiting my aunt in Washington, D.C., in the early 1990s, she suggested a road trip: first, to Luray Caverns, then down Skyline Drive to a town where we’d stay overnight, then over to Charlottesville for the triple play of Monticello, Michie Tavern (lunch), and Ash Lawn. Off we went, stopping in Charlottesville first at the Thomas Jefferson Visitor Cente...more
A kind of "literary biography" of President Jefferson. Kevin Hayes focuses on Jefferson as a man of letters and learning, and what that might have meant for the identity of young America.

There is certainly plenty of material, and much of it is a pleasure. If you, like me, are interested in books and book collecting, much of the book's value and enjoyment will come simply from reading about the building of Jefferson's library, about the sheer numbers of books he bought, and the influences that bo...more
Kyle Slavetsky
The Scholarship of this history is not only very compelling but it shows Mr. Jefferson in a new light. How the composition of his Great Library helped shape his mind and make him the man he was.

While I wish Mr. Hayes dedicated more time to Mr. Jefferson's presidency and his association with the other founding fathers, overall the book was excellent.
Andrew Carr
Magisterial. As fine a literary tribute as the subject could deserve. Jefferson was a pre-eminent man of letters and his life was defined more by his pursuit of books and knowledge, than by the offices through which he expressed his learned views on government, society and nature.

Hayes provides an insight not only into what Jefferson was reading at all stages of his life(not just titles but story and themes), as well as how the book was received at the time, and how Jefferson later made use of...more
This is my second time reading this book just to review it more. I got this book at a gift shop while visiting Thomas Jefferson's home Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia. Thomas Jefferson designed his home and was an avid reader and also developed certain devices for his home. For example, his writing desk. He also was responsible in the design of the University of Virginia as well, Which I could see in the back of his house.
It is hard to think of a better subject than Thomas Jefferson for such a fine extended literary biography as the one at hand. Here the scholar Kevin Hayes nicely and authoritatively relates how books and the love of learning formed the central core to the elusive life that was Mr. Jefferson's, one of the most important political, diplomatic, and educational figures in our nation's history.
Feb 01, 2009 Lea rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: history
The author has conducted a great deal of research and provides tremendous insights into the origins and developments of Jefferson's thoughts as understood through his books. It is jam-packed with information. However it is written in an academic style, which is fine as long as the reader knows to expect it.
Informative about Jefferson but could have been shortened quite a bit if the author had not wrtten so much about his addiction to books. I got that point in the early part of the book.
Good information on TJ. A bit of a slog though - not sure if I care how he arranged vol. 1, 2nd edition on the 3rd shelf and the sun shone in at 2 p.m. from a 45 degree angle.
I got it from the Library and returned it unread.
It was hard to read, there were many refurences that I did not understand.
I will chose another author, same subject.
Yaser Albader
كتاب معقد ويحتاح إلى سعة بال وصبر وبحث كثير، أكثر مايكون بحتاً مطولاً في التطور الفكري لتوماس جيفرسون من أنه عرض حياته
Steve H
Didn't finish; was more about his book buying habits ; I picked up another book on his life;
Fascinating approach - Thomas Jefferson as writer and reader. Definitely one to re-read some day.
Oct 31, 2009 Nora marked it as to-read
Learning a lot from this book but it's LONG...have to table it for awhile!
I'm scanning this one for Jefferson's thoughts on religion and morality. This is a very interesting book that is focused on Jefferson's reading and analysis on his library, notes, letters and writings rather than just a straight biography. Very interesting comments on the apostles and the idea of the trinity.
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