Thomas Jefferson/Bibliography

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A list of key readings about Thomas Jefferson.
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  • Adams, William Howard. The Paris Years of Thomas Jefferson (1997).
  • Bernstein, Richard B. Thomas Jefferson (2005) short biography excerpt and text search
  • Cunningham, Noble E. Jr . In Pursuit of Reason: The Life of Thomas Jefferson (1988, short biography) excerpt and text search
  • Ellis, Joseph J. American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson (1998), influential interpretive essays excerpt and text search
  • Hofstadter, Richard. The American Political Tradition (1948), chapter on TJ online at ACLS e-books
  • Kimball, Marie. Jefferson, War and Peace, 1776 to 1784 1947 online edition
  • McDonald, Forrest. The Presidency of Thomas Jefferson (1987) intellectual history approach to TJ's presidency
  • Malone, Dumas. v. 1, "Jefferson the Virginian (1948); v. 2 Jefferson and the Rights of man; v.3: Jefferson and the Ordeal of Liberty ; v. 4: Jefferson the President: First Term 1801 - 1805; v. 5: Jefferson the President: Second term, 1805-1809; v.6: The Sage of Monticello (1948-70), the standard scholarly biography; short bio by Malone
  • Onuf, Peter, ed. Jeffersonian Legacies (1993), essays by scholars
  • Peterson, Merrill D. Thomas Jefferson and the New Nation: A Biography (1986), long, detailed biography by leading scholar; online edition; also excerpt and text search
  • Peterson, Merrill D. ed. Thomas Jefferson: A Reference Biography. (1986), very good, encyclopedic essays
  • Schachner, Nathan. Thomas Jefferson: A Biography (1957) 1074 pp. online edition

Special topics

  • Burstein, Andrew. Jefferson's Secrets: Death and Desire at Monticello (2005)
  • McLaughlin, Jack. Jefferson and Monticello: The Biography of a Builder (1988)
  • Sheehan, Bernard W. Seeds of Extinction: Jeffersonian Philanthropy and the American Indian (1973)

Politics and diplomacy

  • Adams, Henry. History of the United States of America during the Administrations of Thomas Jefferson. Library of America edition, (1986).
  • Bassett, John Spencer. The Federalist System, 1789-1801 (1906) old scholarly survey; online edition
  • Bowers, Claude G. Jefferson and Hamilton (1925), a slashing attack on Hamilton as unamerican aristocrat
  • Channing, Edward. The Jeffersonian System, 1801-1811 (1906) full text online* Cunningham, Noble E., Jr. Jeffersonian Republicans: The Formation of Party Organization: 1789–1801 (1957), highly detailed party history
  • Cunningham, Noble E., Jr. The Jeffersonian Republicans in Power: Party Operations 1801–1809 (1963), highly detailed party history
  • Cunningham, Noble E., Jr. The Process of Government Under Jefferson (1978)
  • Dawson, Matthew Q. Partisanship and the Birth of America's Second Party, 1796-1800: Stop the Wheels of Government. Greenwood, (2000) online version
  • Elkins, Stanley M. and Eric McKitrick, The Age of Federalism. (1993), the most advanced history of politics in 1790s online edition
  • Ferling, John. Adams vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800 Oxford University Press, 2004 online edition
  • Finkelman, Paul, ed. Encyclopedia of the New American Nation, 1754–1829 ed. by (2005), 1600 pp.
  • Koch, Adrienne. Philosophy of Thomas Jefferson. (1943) online edition
  • Miller, John C. The Federalist Era: 1789-1801 (1960), scholarly survey
  • Rodriguez, Junius, ed. The Louisiana Purchase: An Encyclopedia (2002)
  • Sharp, James. American Politics in the Early Republic: The New Nation in Crisis. (1995), survey of politics in 1790s
  • Smelser, Marshall. The Democratic Republic: 1801-1815 (1968) good one-volume history of TJ's presidency and Madison's;
  • Tucker, Robert W. and David C. Hendrickson. Empire of Liberty: The Statecraft of Thomas Jefferson (1992) best guide to foreign policy excerpt and text search
  • Wilentz, Sean. The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln. (2005), broad-scale interpretation of political history

Political philosophy

  • Armitage, David. "The Declaration of Independence in World Context." Magazine of History 2004 18(3): 61-66. Issn: 0882-228x Fulltext: Ebsco
  • Armitage, David. The Declaration of Independence: A Global History (2007), 300pp excerpt and text search
  • Banning, Lance. The Jeffersonian Persuasion: Evolution of a Party Ideology (1978) excerpt and text search
  • Beard, Charles A. The Economic Origins of Jeffersonian Democracy (1915) online edition
  • Becker, Carl. The Declaration of Independence: A Study on the History of Political Ideas (1922), online edition
  • Brown; Stuart Gerry. The First Republicans: Political Philosophy and Public Policy in the Party of Jefferson and Madison (1954)online.
  • Buel, Richard. Securing the Revolution: Ideology in American Politics, 1789–1815 (1972)
  • Ellis, Joseph J., ed. What Did the Declaration Declare? Bedford Books, 1999. 110 pp. online review
  • Griswold, A. Whitney. "The Agrarian Democracy of Thomas Jefferson," American Political Science Review 60. 4 (August 1946): 657–81. in JSTOR
  • Hardt, Michael. "Jefferson and Democracy." American Quarterly, 2007 59(1): 41-78. Issn: 0003-0678 Fulltext: Project Muse
  • Maier, Pauline. American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence (1998), 336pp excerpt and text search
  • Matthews, Richard K. The Radical Politics of Thomas Jefferson (1986) excerpt and text search
  • Onuf, Peter. Jefferson's Empire: The Language of American Nationhood (2001) excerpt and text search
  • Onuf, Peter S. The Mind of Thomas Jefferson. (2007). 281 pp.
  • Wiltse, Charles Maurice. The Jeffersonian Tradition in American Democracy (1935) online edition

Race, gender and slavery

  • Dierksheide, Christa. "'The great improvement and civilization of that race': Jefferson and the 'Amelioration' of Slavery, ca. 1770–1826," Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 6#1 Spring 2008, pp. 165-197 in Project Muse
  • Finkelman, Paul. "Thomas Jefferson and Slavery: 'Treason against the Hopes of the World,'" in Peter Onuf, ed., Jeffersonian Legacies (1993), 181–224
  • Gordon-Reed, Annette. Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy (1997)
  • Helo, Ari and Onuf, Peter. "Jefferson, Morality, and the Problem of Slavery." William and Mary Quarterly 2003 60(3): 583-614. Issn: 0043-5597 Fulltext: History Cooperative
  • Kennedy, Roger G. Mr. Jefferson's Lost Cause: Land, Farmers, Slavery, and the Louisiana Purchase (2003).
  • Onuf, Peter S. "Every Generation Is an 'Independent Nation': Colonization, Miscegenation, and the Fate of Jefferson's Children," William and Mary Quarterly, 57 (Jan. 2000), 155–72. in History Cooperative
  • Stanton, Lucia C. "'Those Who Labor for My Happiness': Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves," in Peter Onuf, ed, Jeffersonian Legacies (1993) 147–80,
  • Steele, Brian. "Thomas Jefferson's Gender Frontier." The Journal of American History 95.1 (2008) :17-42 online

Historiography, memorials and reputation

  • McDonald, Robert M. S. "Thomas Jefferson's Changing Reputation as Author of the Declaration of Independence: The First Fifty Years," Journal of the Early Republic, Vol. 19, No. 2 (Summer, 1999), pp. 169-195 in JSTOR
  • Onuf, Peter ed. Jeffersonian Legacies (1993), scholarly essays excerpt and text search
  • Onuf, Peter. "The Scholars' Jefferson," William and Mary Quarterly 1993 50(4): 671-699; overview of historiography; in JSTOR
  • Pasley, Jeffrey L. "Politics and the Misadventures of Thomas Jefferson's Modern Reputation: A Review Essay, Journal of Southern History (Nov 2006) 72#4
  • Peterson, Merrill D. The Jefferson Image in the American Mind (1960) excerpt and text search

Primary sources