BN.com Gift Guide

James Madison: A Life Reconsidered

( 11 )

Overview


A major new biography of the fourth president of the United States by New YorkTimes 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...
See more details below
Hardcover
$25.30
BN.com price
(Save 29%)$36.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (34) from $11.69   
  • New (22) from $21.39   
  • Used (12) from $11.69   
James Madison: A Life Reconsidered

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$14.99
BN.com price

Overview


A major new biography of the fourth president of the United States by New YorkTimes 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 states—so eloquently presented in The Federalist papers—helped shape the country Americans live in today.
 
Along with Thomas Jefferson, Madison would found the first political party in the country’s history—the Democratic Republicans. As Jefferson’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 independence—and remain a republic still.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Gordon S. Wood
…Cheney's biography is lucidly written (her description of the Madisons' actions during the burning of the buildings in the capital in 1814 is especially dramatic), and she clearly brings to life the character and personality of Madison. Apart from Ralph Louis Ketcham's 1971 life, this is probably the best single-volume biography of Madison that we now have.
Publishers Weekly
★ 03/17/2014
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)
Lynne Cheney
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.”
The Economist

“[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.”
Publishers Weekly
 
“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.”
Library Journal
 
“[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.”
 —National Review
 
“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

Library Journal
04/15/2014
Cheney (We the People: The Story of Our Constitution), an American Enterprise Institute senior fellow and former second lady of the United States, looks anew at a foundational figure of the early American republic in an analysis of James Madison's life, beliefs, character, and influences. Although notable biographies of Madison (1751–1836) appeared in 2013 (Kevin R.C. Gutzman's James Madison and the Making of America; Jeff Broadwater's James Madison: A Son of Virginia and a Founder of the Nation), Cheney, in a primary-sourced, sprightly, and innovative study, emphasizes how this theorist and practical politician successfully utilized what might have been impediments in other statesmen. Madison's relative reserve allowed him to work with varying personality types; his occasional indispositions, identified here as consistent with epilepsy, fostered his understanding of others. Despite his ideological rivalry with Alexander Hamilton regarding the proper role of federal government, the nonconfrontational Madison was deftly able to advise George Washington, who often supported Hamilton's positions. While he has a reputation as the Constitution's primary author, Madison helped to establish the party system, an entity not described in the founding documents. In this balanced account, Cheney portrays the man's interaction with his advisor and wife, Dolley, as well as with other political actors. VERDICT A nuanced study on its own and a thoughtful presentation by one of today's prominent public intellectuals. This title is useful and accessible on many levels, for its biographical revelations, particularly regarding Madison's health and the basis of his temperament, and as a cerebral encounter with a Founder with a lasting legacy.—Frederick J. Augustyn Jr., Lib. of Congress, Washington, DC
Kirkus Reviews
2014-03-12
A Founding Father gets a respectful reappraisal. Author and former second lady Cheney (We the People: The Story of Our Constitution, 2008, etc.) puts another feather in her patriotic hat with this life of James Madison (1751-1836), fourth president, forger of the Constitution and friend of Thomas Jefferson. While he never studied the law or pursued the military, mostly due to his ill health, which was perceived then as epilepsy, Madison was a doer, translating his passionate defense of the Baptists' right to worship in Virginia into activism in the patriotic cause of the Virginia Convention. Working with Jefferson in fashioning the Virginia constitution, Madison was drafting the blueprint that would become the U.S. Constitution, including the important early tenet for religious liberty. A diligent member of the Continental Congress, he, along with Alexander Hamilton, proposed a states' revenue to pay the new country's debts and promoted Jefferson as peace negotiator in Paris. Drawing from his deep readings in Enlightenment philosophers, Madison was taking notes during every moment in the Philadelphia debates concerning the overhaul of the Articles of the Confederation, as the delegates wrangled over every aspect of the legislative, executive and judiciary branches. He suspected that the approved Constitution failed to rein in the "unwise and wicked proceedings" of the states. The threat of New York's failure to ratify prompted Madison, Hamilton and John Jay to anonymously pen the Federalist Papers. Madison's most famous was Federalist 10, which warned of "factions" in causing government failure. Beating James Monroe for representative to the First Congress from Virginia, Madison helped George Washington revise his inaugural address, and he shaped the Bill of Rights. As president, he weathered the British storm of 1812 and kept the union intact. Cheney duly covers her subject's life in a thorough yet somewhat bland narrative. A proficiently argued account for Madison's greatness, but it lacks the political thrusts of Garry Wills, Richard Brookhiser and other historians.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670025190
  • Publisher: Viking Adult
  • Publication date: 5/6/2014
  • Pages: 576
  • Sales rank: 17,631
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Lynne Cheney

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.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 10 of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Lynne Cheney is a very gifted writer. I love her books. In her n

    Lynne Cheney is a very gifted writer. I love her books. In her newest one, James Madison: A Life Reconsidered she provides a vivid look into the life of one of the Founding Fathers. Prior to reading this book, I had no idea of the extent of Madison’s accomplishments and contributions to the USA. Once I started reading, I couldn’t put the book down. Great book!

    16 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 6, 2014

    Highly recommended

    Very succinct explanation of the events leading to the enactment of the Constitution and the compromises required to secure its approval and the role of Madison in the process.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2014

    confusing and tedious

    I read the first 267 pages and enjoyed reading them, then the "link" kicked in for the future chapters which were other historical accounts .Had I knowm this format, I would not have bought the book. I have lost interest and have not read further.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2014

    Hunter

    Realy guys.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2014

    Madison

    Aye

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 10, 2014

    A fantastic must read for all Americans who would like to be mor

    A fantastic must read for all Americans who would like to be more than "low information voters." Cheney does a wonderful job of enabeling us to understand what our country was meant to and should be about and be like.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2014

    Great read

    I really enjoyed this book as it fleshed out the details of the life and times of one of founders of our country. Wish we had a man like Madison in the government today.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2014

    Highly Recommended - you must check it out!!

    Had no idea of the wide ranging impact he had in establishing our Republic; FASINATING!!! It well written and well documented.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2014

    James

    Bit.ch. kills drakes

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 10 of 11 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)