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Twilight at Monticello

The Final Years of Thomas Jefferson
Narrated by: James Boles
Length: 11 hrs and 12 mins
4 out of 5 stars (88 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Much has been written about Thomas Jefferson, with good reason: His life was a great American drama, one of the greatest, played out in compelling acts. He was the architect of our democracy, a visionary chief executive who expanded this nation's physical boundaries to unimagined lengths. But Twilight at Monticello is something entirely new - an unprecedented and engrossing personal look at the intimate Jefferson in his final years that will change the way audiences think about this true American icon.

It was during these years, from his return to Monticello in 1809, after two terms as president, until his death in 1826, that Jefferson's idealism would be most severely, and heartbreakingly, tested.

Based on new research and documents culled from the Library of Congress, the Virginia Historical Society, and other special collections, including hitherto unexamined letters from family, friends, and Monticello neighbors, Alan Pell Crawford paints an authoritative and deeply moving portrait of Thomas Jefferson as private citizen, the first original depiction of the man in more than a generation.

Here, told with grace and masterly detail, is Jefferson with his family at Monticello, dealing with illness and the indignities wrought by early-19th-century medicine; coping with massive debt and the immense costs associated with running a grand residence; navigating public disputes and mediating family squabbles; and receiving dignitaries and corresponding with close friends, including John Adams, the Marquis de Lafayette, and other heroes from the Revolution.

©2008 Alan Pell Crawford (P)2008 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Insightful analysis and lucid prose make this autumnal portrait a rewarding experience." ( Kirkus)

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

After Leaving Office

Alan Pell Crawford has done a great service in telling the story of Jefferson in his retirement years. Jefferson is neither protrayed as an idol nor scandal riddled person. Rather, he is presented as a real person with issues in the context of post-revolution years. Actually, Jefferson comes out of this volume as a thoughtful though grim figure in his last days. His problems with debt, the loss of his beloved grandson, and the fact that Monticello was less than ideal for his later years are all here. The writing is beautiful and the reading of James Boles is outstanding. It places Jefferson in historical context and the listener will not be disappointed.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A must read for all Americans

We often tote around the Founding Fathers like a medal of honor without considering the truths of their lives and their humanity. This book breaks through all of the myths and lies about Thomas Jefferson and the Antebellum southern society. I started a book discussion centered around this literature and it has helped to draw together people from different political tribes during this difficult time in our history.
This is a must read for all Americans.
CMG

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Twilight at Monticello

I don't know if it is the reader....or the subject matter....but this was the dullest book I have ever downloaded. All the interesting and tittalating things about Jefferson were completely glossed (or should I say dronned) over.
In a word....boring.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Twilight at Monticello

I revealing study of the heart and mind of a very complex man.

2 people found this helpful