Kevin J. Hayes, Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Central Oklahoma, now lives and writes in Toledo, Ohio. He has written several books concerning early American intellectual history, including George Washington, A Life in Books, which has won the 2018 George Washington Book Prize; The Mind of a Patriot: Patrick Henry and the World of Ideas; and The Road to Monticello: Thomas Jefferson and the Life of the Mind.
Praise for The Road to Monticello: The world's leading expert on the book culture of early America, Kevin J. Hayes brings an unsurpassed knowledge and sensitivity to the story of Thomas Jefferson's life of the mind. Incorporating much exciting new information, Hayes's biography makes a major contribution to scholarship, but it also appeals to general readers. The Road to Monticello is intellectual biography in the grand manner. --Leo Lemay, Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Professor, University of Delaware The book's freshness and immediacy lie in the author's emphasis on the libraries Jefferson accumulated and the marginal notes he left in the books he read. Hayes takes us through Jefferson's hugely wide and eclectic reading with an ease and lightness often missing.... The Road to Monticello will enlighten and delight all those drawn to Jefferson and the early years of so many classic American ideas. --Publishers Weekly In what will surely be the definitive work on the subject, Hayes presents a scrupulously researched examination of the reading habits and thinking of our third President, effectively a biography of Thomas Jefferson's intellect over the course of his life. Although Jefferson's public career has always been granted close examination, Hayes demonstrates that Jefferson's life of the mind also merits the close study provided here. --Library Journal