Marc Leepson's book Saving Monticello: The Levy Family's Epic Quest to Rescue the House That Jefferson Built has been hailed as "a work of historical importance, a valuable addition to Jeffersoniana and Jewish-American history, and a cautionary tale of historic preservation" by the Richmond Times Dispatch. With a dramatic narrative sweep across generations, this book vividly recounts the turbulent saga of Jefferson's estate.
Thomas Jefferson died in debt—to the tune of more than $100,000. Forced to sell thousands of acres of his lands and nearly all of his furniture and artwork, his heirs bid a final goodbye to Monticello itself. The house was sold to the highest bidder. "Saving Monticello" offers the first complete post-Jefferson history of this American icon and reveals the amazing story of how one Jewish family saved the house that became a family home to them for 89 years—longer than it ever was to the Jeffersons. Two generations of the Levy family have saved the house from ruin at two different points in history. United by a fierce love of country, the Levy descendants venerated the Founding Fathers for establishing a religiously tolerant and democratic nation where their family had thrived since 1733, largely free of the persecutions and prejudices of the Old World.
Leepson is a journalist, historian and the author of nine books, most recently: Ballad of the Green Beret, What So Proudly We Hailed: Francis Scott Key, A Life, Lafayette: Idealist General, Desperate Engagement, Flag: An American Biography, and Saving Monticello. Additionally, he edited The Webster's New World Dictionary of the Vietnam War and wrote two books on health topics in the 1980s. A former staff writer for Congressional Quarterly in Washington, D.C., he has been a free-lance writer since 1986. He has written for many newspapers, magazines, and resource publications.
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