Saturday, January 12, 2008

Reading List

As promised from my last blog, I was going to point out some books that I am currently reading. I picked up these books during my vacation over the semester break. I have included (if possible) a link to the historical location where I purchased the books.

Martha Washington: First Lady of Liberty by Helen Bryan: This book covers Martha Washington's entire life and is rich with details. Although there is not much historical information about Martha Washington before her marriage to George Washington, the author did through research and found much informaiton. I most enjoyed the years regarding the revolutionary war and Martha Washington's role in helping George Washington. The book also talks a lot about women's role in colonial american life. I also enjoy the way the author presented the historical facts without interrupation and then clearly stated when she was interrupted facts. In some cases, she even provided more than one plossible interrupation. Excellent read. I actually read most of this while we were in Colonial Williamsburg (since we had stopped at Mount Veron first). Right before we had tea at one of the taverns I read that it was the tavern that Martha Washington and her children often ate with George Washington when he went to Williamsburg. Then when we were at the tea, they made reference to that fact! (I was very surprised!)

Jefferson's Secrete: Death And Desire In Monticello by Andrew Burstein: This book mostly focuses on the later years of Thomas Jefferson's life. The book dives into the question of Sally Hemming's children and the relationship that Jefferson might have had with her. The book actually discusses various interruptations of the facts and historical writings of Jefferson regarding the issue. The book begins by discussing Jefferson's views on medicine (and his dislike of bleeding people). I found the book to have many sections of this writing from the years after Jefferson was president. These pieces give us a unique view of Jefferson in his later years. I was very interested in learning Jefferson's involvement in many behind-the-scene political matters. This book is not a biography in the traditional sense, but takes a unique and interesting dive into the mind of Thomas Jefferson (focusing on his later years). I picked this book about at the Jefferson Visitor Center Museum Shop and I have currently read a little over 3/4 of it, but figured I would go ahead and write up a little summary for your enjoyment.

The next book I plan on reading is Mr. Jefferson's Women by Jon Kukla. I picked up this book at the Monticello gift shop and I can't wait to start it. After I finish it (and a few of the others I picked up) I will write up summaries and post them here for your reading pleasure.

Thanks for stopping by and reading! Have a happy weekend! Hopefully, we don't get to much snow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am the author of "Martha Washington First Lady of Liberty". Came across your blog and was so pleased to see that you enjoyed reading it. Readers' feedback means everything to writers, and I wanted to thank you for your thoughtful comments about the book, especially the points you made about interpretation of historical facts. I felt it was extemely important for the book not merely to give the facts but to explain what was behind them , what they meant in the context of the times. Being at Mount Vernon and Williamsburg while reading it must really have brought the Washingtons to life .