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James Madison: A Life Reconsidered Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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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
“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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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.
Top customer reviews
Another advantage of Cheney’s book is that it provides a strong counterweight to the portrayal of Madison in Chernow’s biography of Hamilton. In that book Madison is quite consistently (after 1790) portrayed negatively because of his hostile relationship to Hamilton as Secretary of the Treasury. This book gives you the other side. Cheney explains the issues clearly and fairly. None of the other Founding Fathers lived as long as Madison or went through so many changes in roles, from author of the Bill of Rights and much of the Constitution itself to Congressman to President. Madison’s failures and inconsistencies, from his slave ownership to his problems as President, are here put into context. Cheney nowhere justifies Madison’s weaknesses but lets the reader see the development and historical issues surrounding them, often through Madison’s own words. This is an enlightening book not just about Madison but about life in colonial America. Though I had some concerns prior to reading the book about the author’s own political context, there is absolutely no political bias in this book. If the reader is looking for a book that humanizes one of the greatest minds in early American history, this is it. It is one of the best historical biographies on the market. I highly recommend it.
In this readable book, the author shows James Madison's heavy involvement in the creation of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. He also wrote a number of the Federalist papers, late 1700's essays on the role of government. The book chronicles Madison's political career from member of the Continental Congress to U.S. Congressman to chief advisor to our first president, George Washington to secretary of state under president Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson's administration made the Louisiana Purchase, doubling the size of the United States.
Finally, Madison became president, our fourth. He made the decision to go to war against Britain in the War of 1812, the first war involving the United States since the Revolution. The war included a naval attack on an American fort that resulted in Francis Scott Key's writing the poem that eventually became the words to our national anthem. After surviving a fierce battle "our flag was still there." This was an enormous flag with stars that were two feet wide.
Later in the war, the British burned our nation's capital. The U.S. fought on, achieving a major victory at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815.
The book details how America was dis-respected during its early years with Britain, France and the North African Barbary pirates seizing or destroying our nation's ships. British sea captains would board American ships and impress some of the sailors into the British Navy. But over time the U.S. grew stronger and more confident, becoming an emerging power.
Cheney also discusses Madison's family life and the popularity and influence of his wife, Dolley. This is a engaging portrait of the early United States as told within the context of Madison's life.