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James Madison: A Life Reconsideredby Lynne Cheney
Synopses & Reviews
A major new biography of the fourth president of the United States by New York Times bestselling author Lynne Cheney
This majestic new biography of James Madison explores the astonishing story of a man of vaunted modesty who audaciously changed the world. Among the Founding Fathers, Madison was a true genius of the early republic.
Outwardly reserved, Madison was the intellectual driving force behind the Constitution and crucial to its ratification. His visionary political philosophy and rationale for the union of statesand#151;so eloquently presented in The Federalist papersand#151;helped shape the country Americans live in today.
Along with Thomas Jefferson, Madison would found the first political party in the countryand#8217;s historyand#151;the Democratic Republicans. As Jeffersonand#8217;s secretary of state, he managed the Louisiana Purchase, doubling the size of the United States. As president, Madison led the country in its first war under the Constitution, the War of 1812. Without precedent to guide him, he would demonstrate that a republic could defend its honor and independenceand#151;and remain a republic still.
"In a meticulously researched, richly detailed look at the life and times of Madison, former Second Lady Cheney (We the People) fleshes out the achievements and struggles of this American Founding Father. As much a biography of the statesman, intellectual, and politician who rose to become President as a history of the country's tumultuous post-Revolutionary War growth, the work covers a lot of ground. Authoritative, conversational, certainly confident in its analysis, the book paints Madison as a man of great accomplishments; one who struggled against setbacks, political opponents, and health problems. Cheney does veer uncomfortably close to hero worship: 'Madison's time of extraordinary achievement came after years of intense focus, deep concentration, and nearly obsessive effort, behavior that describes most lives of genius, from Sir Isaac Newton's to Mozart's to Einstein's.' However, she does show his impressive influence in helping to forge a nation out of chaos through constant debate and begrudging compromise. Cheney conclusively demonstrates through the historical record that Madison, in word and deed, was a primary figure in shaping early American development and successfully establishes 'a deeper understanding of the man who did more than any other to conceive and establish the nation we know.' Agent: Robert Barnett, Williams & Connolly. (May)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A major new biography of the fourth U.S. president, from New York Timesbestselling author Lynne Cheney
James Madison was a true genius of the early republic, the leader who did more than any other to create the nation we know today. This majestic new biography tells his story.
Outwardly reserved, Madison was the intellectual driving force behind the Constitution. His visionary political philosophy—eloquently presented in the Federalist Papers—was a crucial factor behind the Constitutions ratification, and his political savvy was of major importance in getting the new government underway. As secretary of state under Thomas Jefferson, he managed the Louisiana Purchase, doubling the size of the United States. As president, Madison led the country in its first war under the Constitution, the War of 1812. Without precedent to guide him, he would demonstrate that a republic could defend its honor and independence while remaining true to its young constitution.
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.
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