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Twilight at Monticello: The Final Years of Thomas Jefferson” is Alan Pell Crawford’s third and most recent book, published in 2008.  Breaking away from the tradition of most Jefferson-focused biographies, Crawford’s work spends the bulk of its energy not on Jefferson’s time in public office, but on his seventeen-year retirement.

At first blush, it might seem strange that anyone would set out to describe in two-hundred or so pages the same period that Dumas Malone spent five-hundred pages chronicling in his sixth and final volume on Jefferson written thirty-five years ago.  What eventually becomes clear, however, is that Crawford’s book is no ordinary accounting of the last years of one of our most revered presidents.

“Twilight at Monticello” begins with a prologue which takes the reader to a day in 1819 when one of Jefferson’s grandsons is seriously injured in a fight with his brother-in-law.  Much of this section seems to fall into the category of historical fiction, describing what Jefferson “may” have eaten for breakfast that morning and what he “perhaps” did the rest of that day before learning of the altercation…

– Click here for the full review at BestPresidentialBios.com –