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James Madison: A Life Reconsidered Hardcover – May 6, 2014


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult; First Edition edition (May 6, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670025194
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670025190
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.5 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,036 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for James Madison: A Life Reconsidered
by Lynne Cheney


“With this compelling, elegant, original biography, Lynne Cheney brings the great, elusive James Madison back to life. . . .”
Michael Beschloss, author of The Conquerors and Presidential Courage

“Lucidly written . . . this is probably the best single volume bio of Madison that we now have.”
 —Gordon Wood, New York Times Book Review
 
“A lovingly researched tribute to an often underestimated man. It does not explicitly refer to modern controversies. But present-day politics intrudes.”
The Economist

“[In this] meticulously researched, richly detailed look at the life and times of Madison, former Second Lady Cheney fleshes out the achievements and struggles of this American founding father. . . . Authoritative, conversational, certainly confident in its analysis.”
Publishers Weekly
 
“Written with subtlety and grace, [James Madison] is as groundbreaking as it is fresh, as enthralling as it is compulsively readable. It is nothing short of a masterpiece. . . .”
Jay Wink, author of April 1865 and The Great Upheaval

“A nuanced study on its own and a thoughtful presentation by one of today’s prominent public intellectuals.”
Library Journal
 
“[Lynne Cheney’s] writing is both fluid and polished; the tone is measured and judicious. Her treatment of Madison . . . is informed by a sophisticated knowledge of politics, without in any way being presentist.”
David B. Mattern, senior associate editor, Papers of James Madison, University of Virginia



 
 

 
(Lynne Cheney)

About the Author

Lynne Cheney is the author or coauthor of twelve books, including six bestselling books about American history for children. Her most recent book is We the People: The Story of Our Constitution. The wife of former vice president Dick Cheney, she lives in McLean, Virginia, and Wilson, Wyoming.

More About the Author

Lynne Cheney's most recent book is the New York Times bestseller, We the People: The Story of Our Constitution, illustrated by Greg Harlin. She is also the author of the New York Times bestsellers America: A Patriotic Primer, A is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women, When Washington Crossed the Delaware: A Wintertime Story for Young Patriots, A Time for Freedom: What Happened When in America, and Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America, and has written a memoir, Blue Skies, No Fences. Mrs. Cheney is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and former chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Vice President Richard B. Cheney.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
78
4 star
23
3 star
6
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0
1 star
7
See all 114 customer reviews
It gives great insight into James Madison.
Patricia A. Mcgehee
It is clear after reading James Madison that she is and expert historian, author, and researcher.
Robert Busko
A history book which I may well read again.
Grandon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

85 of 94 people found the following review helpful By I.A. on May 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I am not an historian, so I will write as an avid pedestrian reader. I grew up in an age when the founding fathers were still on a pedestal and had not yet been deconstructed into mere mortals. But now comes the age of the great re-deification of the founding fathers, and I couldn't be happier. We have wonderful books galore about Washington ("The Secret Six" being one of my newer favorites), Jefferson (who survived the Sally Hemings drumming and has reclaimed his rightful position via "The Art of Power" and other tomes), and of course McCullough's "John Adams," all of which give wonderful depth and complexity to their subjects. Now we have Cheney's "James Madison" to round out this quartet. I'll admit it was a little difficult at first to take this book seriously--after all, how hard would it be for Mrs. Dick Cheney to get a book published? However, after skimming the first few pages I was hooked, and completely forgot about her famous husband. Although Cheney is not a faculty member at a prestigious college (the usual candidacy to author this type of tome), she has a sizzling intellect, a beautiful, engaging turn of phrase, elegant pacing, crystal clear organization, and just the right use of quotes to convey her arguments. I was amazed at how the book danced along, giving ample substance where needed, but never losing its momentum and readability. In this age where there are few real heroes (Bonhoeffer and Mandela come to mind), we would do well (especially as Americans, not ashamed to admit it) to clarify and and reinforce our understanding of these special men and how they came together to act as a force for great change.
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49 of 55 people found the following review helpful By T. Zeller on May 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thought I read enough biographies on James Madison to know all there was regarding our forth president. I have been happily been proven wrong and am enthralled with Cheney's James Madison: A Life Reconsidered. It is aptly titled as I find myself reconsidering previous views and opinions of Madison and regard him in higher and higher esteem as I turn the page. If you thought Dolly was the interesting member of the family dive in and discover a man whose ability and understanding of the bureaucracy are still unmatched today!
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89 of 110 people found the following review helpful By History Buff on May 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I enjoy books about the Founding period, so when I saw the great New York Times review this book received I downloaded it as soon as it came out. So far it is everything the review promised. Thank you, Mrs. Cheney, for this comprehensive, well-written contribution to our understanding of such an interesting man and important Founding Father!
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33 of 40 people found the following review helpful By N. Thomas on May 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover
His face isn't on Mount Rushmore, he didn't have a lot of flash and many folks couldn't tell you one thing about him except possibly his wife's name. Mrs. Cheney's new book finally gives America's premiere founder the attention and recognition he deserves. Mrs. Cheney fills each page with important historical detail but, it feels more like a marvelous adventure as you are on the sidelines as history unfolds. If you wish you knew more about our country and how the founding fathers developed our nation to be the arguable success it is today - this is a MUST READ!
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Michael H.Bassett on May 24, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Had forgotten Madison's huge contributions - he had gotten lost among the older Founding Fathers and first three Presidents.
Must reading to understand conflict between overbearing Federal Govt and individual liberty & States Rights. Should elevate
Madison and his contributions.
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36 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Denis Vukosav TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 9, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
‘James Madison: A Life Reconsidered' written by Lynne Cheney is a book that unfortunately attracted more attention because of person who wrote it than about the things that can be found on its pages.

Lynne Cheney is a wife of the former vice president Dick Cheney and with her book she tried to write new biography of US fourth president, James Madison. James Madison although perhaps not as well-known as the first and third President, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, is very important figure in US history, mostly because of his merits in writing of the Constitution, but also because he devoted his all life serving to the recently established United States.

Those who consider buying this book to learn about his character and personal details from Madison life, might be disappointed, because author decided to mainly focus on his political career and therefore it would not be unusual if you close the final page still asking what kind of person was actually James Madison, what might be considered as the main drawback of the book.

On the other hand, obviously Cheney well researched Madison political life because inside its covers can be found information about every political initiative he started together with his books, his many talents and hobbies such as architecture or art, his family background and his marriage with Dolley Payne Todd. Same thing which can be said for Madison can be also observed for his wife that is unfortunately presented not in too much of details regarding her characterization, which is shame Dolley being the most important person in Madison private life.

Cheney through her book especially emphasized the relation between James Madison and Thomas Jefferson and through their relation much can be learned about both of them.
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