S-Space Researcher Institutes (연구소) American Studies Institute (미국학연구소) 미국학 미국학 Volume 38 Number 1/2 (2015)
Annette Gordon-Reed, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family. New York, W. W. Norton & Company. 2008. 798 pages.
- Kim, Seonghoon
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 미국학연구소
- 미국학, Vol.38 No.1, pp. 189-200
- This review introduces Annette Gordon-Reed’s The Hemingses of Monticello critically. The book recounts the extended history of three generations of the Hemingses and the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and them that developed at Monticello between 1735 and 1826. The author, however, questions the suggested sexual relationship between Jefferson and Sally Hemings, Elizabeth’s youngest daughter, as to whether Sally’s sixchildren were fathered by the president, a long-standing controversy since the turn of the eighteenth century. The discussion of the specific contexts of slavery and of social circumstance at that time makes the author’s argument in the book convincing and thought-provoking. Gordon-Reed’s view of the Jefferson-Hemings relationship as based on love, however, often relies on her own abstract reasoning, which creates many questionable points. Such factors overshadow the author’s efforts to recover Hemings from the silence of history while ironically emphasizing Jefferson’s hegemony over her.