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James Madison: A Life Reconsidered Hardcover – May 6, 2014
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"The Black Presidency"
Rated by Vanity Fair as one of our most lucid intellectuals writing on race and politics today, this book is a provocative and lively look into the meaning of America's first black presidency. Learn more
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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
“Graceful and balanced . . . Cheney makes clear that Madison was a practical politician . . . principled but pragmatic, sincere but complex. His world was complicated. So is ours, and it [could] use more people like him.”
—H. W. Brands, The Washington Post
“A lovingly researched tribute to an often underestimated man. It does not explicitly refer to modern controversies. But present-day politics intrudes.”
“[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.”
“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.”
“[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
“[Cheney] offers a lucid, well-paced, wonderfully written, and authoritative history. Very well worth your time.”
“This is the James Madison we always should have known about. Thanks to Lynne Cheney’s well-researched book, it’s the James Madison we will now always know.”
—The Washington Times
“The Constitution remains Madison's greatest legacy. Cheney's detailed biography helps renew appreciation for the man behind it.”
—Pittsburgh Tribune Review
“Lynne Cheney has written what may be the most authoritative and comprehensive book ever on the life of Founding Father and President James Madison. It offers a fascinating perspective into how brilliant Madison truly was.”
—Intellectual Conservative — Lynne Cheney
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Top Customer Reviews
Madison graduated from Princeton where he came under the Presbyterian and Scottish Enlightenment teaching of Dr. John Witherspoon Madison studied for the career of law quickly winning fame in the United States House of Representatives. He would later serve as President Washington closest advisor. Madison wrote Washington's first inaugural address. Madison served as Secretary of State in the Jefferson administration. Madison was one of the three authors of the Federalist Papers (along with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay) calling for approval of the US Constitution in 1789. John Quincy Adams called him "The Father of the Constitution."
Madison had a happy private life. Little Jemmy was married to Dolley Todd a fetching Quaker widow. The couple were childless but her son John Todd by her first husband was a wastrel. Madison was stiff and formal in public but could be warm with close friends. He was bookish loving chess and rural pleasures.
Madison served two full terms as POTUS from 1808-1816. Madison was our first wartime POTUS leading the nation through the dark days of the War of 1812 and the burning of the White House by the British.
Dr. Lynn Cheney, the wife of Dick Cheney former Vice-President , has produced a well researched and written biography which is especially strong on illuminating the Constitution convention and actions political and military during the War of 1812. I devoured this book in two days. It should be a candidate for the National Book Award for Biography. Excellent and highly recommended!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
They had many of the same problems we do. It is no conmsolation.Published 13 days ago by Stanton C. Selbst
This was an excellent biography of James Madison. It gives a great amount of detail of his role in forming our Constitution. It's well written and A delight to read. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Idolater
This is an excellent read. Cheney is an engaging and informative author. She brings one of the greatest and most exceptional men in history to life in this highly readable work of... Read morePublished 25 days ago by C Cannon
Although some readers bemoan the less story-like approach Lynne Cheney takes to this history, I am appreciative of her careful avoidance of arguing that President Madison's... Read morePublished 1 month ago by BOOK LOVER
An interesting look at the man and the history of his time. The inclusion of others whom he influenced and was influenced by provided a great deal of incite into his life and who... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Mark Young
I read this book to bring myself up to speed about Madison. He gets left out of the discussion many times when speaking of the founding fathers. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Brian Perry
James Madison is a forgotten Founding Father. I'd argue most Americans would be unable to articulate much about this important man's career. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Will Kremer