Toni's Reviews > Twilight at Monticello: The Final Years of Thomas Jefferson

Twilight at Monticello by Alan Pell Crawford
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Sep 17, 09

Read in September, 2009

There is not a lot to recommend this book, which I read only for a book club.

It does provide an overview of Jefferson's life with an emphasis on his final years. He appears to have been a well-educated man who had a way with words and was exceedingly kind. His good attributes stop there. He railed against slavery and yet held slaves and was seemingly unwilling to recognize that male visitors to Monticello had their way with female slaves whenever they liked. He was also a very poor manager of money.

The interesting thing is that in a time not far removed from the signing of the Declaration there were already signs that pure Democracy could not exist. In his later years Jefferson bemoaned the fact that government seemed to be run "for" the people rather than "by" them. His good friend John Adams echoed this sentiment by observing that there was widespread corruption and abuse.

The thing that really struck me was Jefferson's almost over attention to details of interior decoration. He probably should have been an interior decorator - he had great taste and he could have spent other's money.

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