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The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family by Annette Gordon-Reed
In The Hemingses of Monticello, historian Annette Gordon-Reed details the life of Sally Hemings, a black slave mistress to Thomas Jefferson. She herself was the daughter of the union of a white man and his slave, and was a half-sister to Jefferson's wife, Martha. It was an affair that was forced to be kept secret, not only because it was a violation of the law. Still rumors of the relationship were prevalent. Annette Gordon-Reed not only chronicles their relationship, but the siblings and children of Sally Hemings and how her life with Jefferson eventually affected theirs. The Hemingses of Monticello has received positive reviews (and a National Book Award nomination) with BookPage saying, "The Hemingses of Monticello explores a thorny but important chapter in American history with distinction and clarity, offering a poignant, if also often ugly, chronicle of slavery, secrecy and family tension."
Winner of the 2008 National Book Award for nonfiction