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Annette Gordon-Reed

The Hemingses of Monticello

W.W. Norton & Co.

2009 Nonfiction

The Hemingses of Monticello
Annette Gordon-Reed is a professor of law at New York Law School and a professor of history at Rutgers University. She is the author of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy, editor of Race On Trial: Law and Justice in American History, and coauthor with Vernon Jordan of Vernon Can Read: A Memoir.

Professor Gordon-Reed, who grew up in still-segregated east Texas, became interested in Jefferson in elementary school after reading a children’s biography of him, narrated by a fictional slave boy. At 14, she joined the Book-of-the-Month Club (concealing her status as a minor) to receive Fawn Brodie’s biography, Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate Portrait. She continued her study of Jefferson’s life at Dartmouth College, where she majored in History, graduating in 1981. She attended Harvard Law School, where she was a member of the Law Review.

Professor Gordon-Reed spent her early career as an associate at Cahill Gordon & Reindel, and as Counsel to the New York City Board of Corrections. She speaks or moderates at numerous conferences across the country on history and law-related topics. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, daughter, and son.

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Blog Posts about Annette Gordon-Reed

What Were Your Thoughts On President Obama's Second Inaugural Address?

On Monday, President Obama delivered his second Inaugural Address in the cold Washington air, laying out a progressive agenda for the next four years. He spoke clearly on the issues of gay marriage, climate change, and social service programs, while pushing members of Congress to work together to solve some of the biggest issues of our time:  Progress does not compel us to settle century’s long debates about the role of government for all time, but it does require us to act in our time. For now, decisions are upon us and we cannot afford... Read More →

VIDEO: Attending An All-White School

We live in a world that is dominated by the impact of race, class and diversity, but conversations about those ideas don't happen nearly as often as they need to. That's why our mission here at Anisfield-Wolf feels so fulfilling, because the books we select provide those sparks that can ignite meaningful conversations bubbling just below the surface. Take 2009 winner Annette Gordon-Reed for instance. Her books on Thomas Jefferson and his relationship with Sally Hemmings helped Americans analyze the complexities of race and freedoms during... Read More →

Anisfield-Wolf Guide To Black History Month

Black History Month is but one period out of the year where we focus on the accomplishments and contributions of those of the African Diaspora. We believe that the world is a richer place when we celebrate our rich cultural diversity, as evidenced by our dedication to selecting books that contribute to the dialogue. It's hard for us to select our favorite books out of the Anisfield-Wolf library, so instead we will choose books that give great insight into the triumphs and challenges of African Americans. Share this list with your colleagues... Read More →

VIDEO: Annette Gordon-Reed On Being Named A MacArthur Fellow

2009 Anisfield-Wolf Award winner Annette Gordon-Reed had the distinct privilege of being awarded a MacArthur "Genius" grant, which is a $500,000 prize for individuals with an exceptionally high level of creativity in their work. The grant is a no-strings-attached award, designed to let the winners continue to produce high-quality work without financial worry. Here is Annette's video on how she began work on her book, The Hemmingses of Monticello, and what being a MacArthur Fellow means to her. Read More →
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