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Jefferson the Virginian (Jefferson and His Time #1)

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  578 ratings  ·  35 reviews
The first of five volumes in a full-length biography of Jefferson.
Hardcover, 484 pages
Published January 30th 1948 by Little, Brown and Company (first published January 1st 1948)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,170)
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Henry Sturcke
Detailed, sympathetic, and surprisingly readable.
Malone doesn't shy away from Jefferson's ambivalent attitudes toward slavery, but the net impression is that he was about as enlightened as one could expect a person of his station and time to be. In other areas, Jefferson is presented as, next to Franklin, the leading Enlightenment figure in the British colonies. One reason I was glad to read this was for the detailed investigation of Jefferson's conduct as governor of Virginia toward the close o
Dianne Oliver
Rather comprehensive. I cannot imagine that this is one of six volumes as it covers his early life all the way through the age of 41. Dumas makes no apologies for the life of this great statesman, philosopher, musician, scientist. He is sympathetic in ALL areas, which lies in contrast to other volumes I have read, and while somewhat refreshing, can be annoying as well. His writing is so interesting it made for a pleasant read. I learned new things pretty consistently throughout and one cannot he ...more
Andrea Huehnerhoff
interesting, not as full of stories and anecdotes as I like but thoroughly factual and informative.
Roxanne Russell
This is the first of six volumes by Dumas Malone in the Jefferson and His Time series- winner of the 1975 Pulitzer Prize for History.

It is one thing to have known in the abstract that the American Revolution and the creation of our constitution was an exceptional event in history, but quite another to envision the man, immersed in philosophical study, informed by the realities of his age, drafting the first statute on freedom of religion for the state of Virginia. And to hear his sentiments of
James Violand
Jul 01, 2014 James Violand rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any American.
Shelves: own
This review applies to the entire series, Jefferson and His Times.
Anyone who wants to understand a fraction of Jefferson, needs to start here. This work is the source that most academicians use. It is thorough and depends upon Jefferson's correspondence, editorials, reports, day books, conversations and memories. What more could you ever need? Heavily footnoted, this series puts to shame all other works on this great American. Some popular authors have written of Jefferson suggesting what he may
Paul Haspel
Jefferson would have liked this biography, I think. Dumas Malone, who spent much of his career at the University of Virginia, composed his six-volume biography of Thomas Jefferson very much in the spirit of one Virginia gentleman paying homage to another. All six volumes of Jefferson and His Time (the formal title for the entire biography) are characterized by an elevated and elegant writing style, exhaustive research, and a strongly sympathetic attitude toward his subject -- "the biographer's t ...more
Todd Martin
Thomas Jefferson and His Time, Volume I: The Virginian covers the first 41 years of Jefferson's life from gentleman farmer, to legal scholar, to writer of the Declaration of Independence, and Governor of Virginia. The information is meticulously researched (Dumas taught history at Yale and Harvard) and has been deemed somewhat of a classic of history since it's first publication in 1948.

The book provides an excellent accounting of Jefferson's achievements, but still leaves one wondering what th
Volume 1 of 6. An astounding feat by any standard. This book is an exceptional history of Thomas Jefferson. The level of detail regarding Jefferson's family and early life is better than anything I have read to date. By no means do I have an exhaustive list of works on Jefferson so that comment can be taken at face value.

The book attempts to explain the many facets Jefferson's life as an architect, naturalist, jurist, political theorist, governor, philosopher, inventor, the list goes on and on.
So the story goes,

If one is to fully understand American History through the maze of questionable literature available, one then much study and learn both sides of the spoken word, and therefore determine, as best they can, in their own minds which is justice. If we are to accept moral and ethical reasoning then we must also be willing to ask those leaders with great power “is this Democracy, is this Liberty and Freedom you so eloquently speak of.”
As with words ones actions will also be judged

“Jefferson & His Time: Jefferson the Virginian” is the first of six volumes in Dumas Malone’s epic biography of Thomas Jefferson, for which he won a Pulitzer Prize. Malone wrote the biography between 1948 and 1981 and by the time it was completed, was nearly blind. He was the oldest man ever awarded a Pulitzer when he received it in 1975 at age 83 (before the landmark work had even seen its last volume), and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedo
"Hopeful disappointment" is perhaps the best phrase to sum up my feeling towards the first volume of Malone's Jefferson. The series by it's very length implies a thoroughness and comprehensiveness that is made evident from the beginning. Beginning by situating Jefferson in his patrician family line, continuing through his liberal education and devoting much of the body to Jefferson's political and intellectual life, Malone's characterization is not so different from the many others that portray ...more
John Nelson
Vol. I of Malone's six-volume biography of Jefferson. This book carries Jefferson from birth up to his appointment as American minister to France. Jefferson led an extraordinary, and extraordinarily varied, life. As a result, the material is inherently interesting. However, Malone tacks a little to much toward hagiography rather than true biography for this to be a truly outstanding book.
Mel Travis
I listened to this book and I really enjoyed it. Jefferson was a remarkable man and Malone seems to really show him in a favorable light. His book made me want to continue on with the series and also check out Jon Meacham's latest book on TJ.
The 1st volume in Dumas Malone's outstanding multi-volume biography of Thomas Jefferson. Considered the definitive biography of the 3d President, 1st Secretary of State, Ambassador to France, & Governor of Virginia.
Overall, Jefferson the Virginian was an enjoyable read. The first volume in the series Jefferson and His Time traces Jefferson from his childhood to the start of his voyage to France for his role as minister plenipotentiary to France. At times, I felt that Malone was a bit too fawning over Jefferson, that Malone needed to come up with an excuse whenever he discussed anything that would cast Jefferson in a negative light. For example, Malone glosses over the British raid of Monticello. Despite so ...more
A very thorough, though obviously old-fashioned, biography of the early years of Thomas Jefferson. As it is just the first volume of a 6 volume set, it is obviously encyclopedic in nature. Also, because it was written when it was, it glosses over certain issues that we might find more fascinating today, such as Jefferson's difficult relationship with slavery.
Mark Brown
The entire series of books, Jefferson biography, are incredible. Very well researched, very well written...well worth the read!
Gerald Curtis
If you are interested in how Thomas Jefferson became what he needed to be to write the Declaration of Independence, this is a great book, explaining the times and society in which he grew up and obtained the unusual education, values and beliefs that dominate the Declaration. That is why I read it and I got more than I hoped for.
Tom Rowe
Dumas Malone is in love with Thomas Jefferson. Everything Jefferson does is so positive. One review I saw called him Jefferson's "hagiographer." However, if you get through the fawning, this book does offer an interesting and in depth look at Jefferson. I look forward to the rest of the series. I look forward to the rest of the series.
Justin Miller
Volume one of six, this just barely gets to the end of the Revolution, but Jefferson had already completed two of his three most proud achievements: the Declaration of Independence and religious freedom in Virginia. One of the more dense reads of my life, Jefferson is a juggernaut of wisdom and a real hero of mine.
This volume relays the least known portion of Jefferson's life - the first. Very readable and scholarly and well researched. I look forward to the next volume.
A book from a different time. Published in 1948, this first of a projected multi-volume work gives Jefferson a bye on many of the controversy's which have since embroiled his life. Perhaps it's good the balance the current, tabloid gossip with a solid biography.
Omar Masood
Dry but informative. This is the first volume of Malone's six volume biography of Jefferson. Needless to say, it provides a wealth of information on Jefferson. If you are a student of Jefferson this is a must read.
Pretty dry and the narrative isn't all that well-done in my opinion. Plus the writing feels dated...

I'll probably try reading the next volume one of these days just to see if things get more interesting.
Maybe it's a little overburdened with facts, but you won't find a better or more comprehensive introduction to Jefferson. Still have to read the other five volumes....
This volume was about his early years.

Although there was some good information, the material was dry. I don't think I'll be reading the rest of the volumes.
Malone is the quintessential Jefferson biographer, so this is a must-read if you're into Jefferson. Good details of Jefferson's early life in Virginia.
Unfathomably well-researched, well-written, and comprehensive. Can't wait to read the next five.
Very comprehensive. Thouroughly pro-Jefferson, but that's expected in this sort of biography.
Craig J.
Jefferson and His Time by Dumas Malone (2005)
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  • Present at the Creation: My Years in the State Department
  • Samuel Johnson
  • James Monroe: The Quest for National Identity
  • John Adams: A Life
  • The Transformation of Virginia, 1740-1790
  • The Age of Jackson
  • James Madison
  • Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution
  • The Life of Andrew Jackson
  • John Tyler (The American Presidents, #10)
  • Washington
  • President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime
  • Voyagers to the West: A Passage in the Peopling of America on the Eve of the Revolution
  • Lafayette
  • The Americans, Vol. 3: The Democratic Experience
  • Jefferson and Monticello: The Biography of a Builder
  • The Road to Monticello: The Life and Mind of Thomas Jefferson
  • Thomas Jefferson
Dumas Malone, 1892–1986, spent thirty-eight years researching and writing Jefferson and His Time. In 1975 he received the Pulitzer Prize in history for the first five volumes. From 1923 to 1929 he taught at the University of Virginia; he left there to join the Dictionary of American Biography, bringing that work to completion as editor-in-chief. Subsequently, he served for seven years as director ...more
More about Dumas Malone...

Other Books in the Series

Jefferson and His Time (6 books)
  • Jefferson and the Rights of Man
  • Jefferson and the Ordeal of Liberty
  • Jefferson the President: First Term, 1801-1805
  • Jefferson the President: Second Term, 1805-1809
  • The Sage of Monticello
Jefferson and the Rights of Man Jefferson and the Ordeal of Liberty The Sage of Monticello Jefferson the President: Second Term, 1805-1809 Jefferson the President: First Term, 1801-1805

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