Historian Spotlight: Annette Gordon-Reed

I thought you all might enjoy a collection of articles and books centered around one person.  Annette Gordon-Reed is the Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History at Harvard Law School and is also on the faculty in the school of Arts and Sciences.  In 1997, she wrote Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversyand then in 2009 published The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family which won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for non-fiction.

Gordon-Reed is a force of nature and her writing is entirely enjoyable.  And she writes great op-eds.  Most recently, she wrote about how we talk about the past in the New York Times. History matters, to Gordon-Reed, but so does the agency of historical people. (Her piece on Charlottesville and Jefferson in the New York Review of Books is also superb.)

She wrote one of the most interesting opinions on Harvard Law School’s shield by suggesting that an overt connection between historical enslaved persons and modern law students is preferable to no acknowledged connection between past and present.

Finally, this recent interview discusses some of her fascinating life story.


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