James Madison: A Son of Virginia and a Founder of the Nation

James Madison: A Son of Virginia and a Founder of the Nation

by Jeff Broadwater


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James Madison is remembered primarily as a systematic political theorist, but this bookish and unassuming man was also a practical politician who strove for balance in an age of revolution. In this biography, Jeff Broadwater focuses on Madison's role in the battle for religious freedom in Virginia, his contributions to the adoption of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, his place in the evolution of the party system, his relationship with Dolley Madison, his performance as a wartime commander in chief, and his views on slavery. From Broadwater's perspective, no single figure can tell us more about the origins of the American republic than our fourth president.
In these pages, Madison emerges as a remarkably resilient politician, an unlikely wartime leader who survived repeated setbacks in the War of 1812 with his popularity intact. Yet Broadwater shows that despite his keen intelligence, the more Madison thought about one issue, race, the more muddled his thinking became, and his conviction that white prejudices were intractable prevented him from fully grappling with the dilemma of American slavery.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469628318
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 02/01/2016
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Jeff Broadwater is professor of history at Barton College and author of George Mason, Forgotten Founder.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Broadwater has mastered the voluminous literature on Madison. With lively and fast-paced prose, this succinct synthesis of recent scholarship will appeal to historians, political scientists, and general readers alike.—Stuart Leibiger, LaSalle University

Jeff Broadwater has given us an engaging analysis of seven key chapters in the long and extraordinarily productive life of James Madison. In this handsomely produced biography, Broadwater persuasively argues that Madison's greatest contributions to America's founding were not as an abstract political thinker, but as a pragmatic, thinking politician.—Rick Beeman, author of Plain, Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution

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