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Good historical perspective, but unsatisfying
on November 25, 2011
Over the past year, I've added something to my bucket list. Before I die, I plan to read at least one book on every US president, in order of the dates of their presidencies. I have read a number out of order, having read several books on Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Clinton over the past few years. But, this book on James Madison follows Chernow's Washington, McCullough's John Adams, and Ellis's Jefferson, American Sphinx.
While Brookhiser's biography of Madison provides a great historical timeline of his life, it really does not capture who Madison was. He goes to great lengths to paint a human portrait of his wife Dolley, but fails to capture anything about the personality of the "father of the US Constitution. Following the detail shown for this type of writing by Chernow and McCullough, I found this unsatisfying as if something was missing from the book.
Overall, the history is fine and the prose well written. The book itself was easy to follow and understand. But if you are a student of the psychology of leaders, this book leaves something to be desired.
For a historical perspective, this book does near 5 stars. For a complete profile of James Madison he man, it was a little disappointing.