The list author says: "Thomas Jefferson is one of the great men of American history, and not least because he had many followers in his own day. James Madison, Jefferson's best friend and life-long political ally, founded a party in the 1790s which ultimately became the Jeffersonian party. The political thought and practice of the Jeffersonian Republicans shaped the United States in the new federal republic's formative years. The books in this list are the best works of biography, political history, social history, and constitutional history on the Jeffersonian Republican ascendancy of the early 19th century and its legacy."
"Other than Jefferson, no individual was so important to making Jeffersonian Republicanism America's creed as James Madison. One might argue, indeed, that Madison outranks Jefferson himself. Madison's devotion to republican government, religious liberty, states' rights, and peace grew out of his earliest experience. Here is his story."
"The Revolution was waged, foremost, at the state level. Its chief goal was to replace dominions of the king with self-governing states. This book tells the story of Virginia's progress from a monarchical to a republican society, and along the way it shows why leading figures such as Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and John Tyler, Sr. were so unhappy with their struggle's results."
"Had Jefferson not narrowly defeated Adams in the election of 1800, American history might have been markedly different. Aaron Burr might have changed things markedly, too -- if he had been as nakedly ambitious as his unsympathetic contemporaries and partisan historians have said. Larson lays out the contingencies intriguingly."