James Madison

James Madison

by Richard Brookhiser

Paperback(First Trade Paper Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465063802
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 05/28/2013
Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 151,673
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.06(h) x 0.81(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Richard Brookhiser is a senior editor of National Review and the author of eleven books, including What Would the Founders Do? and George Washington on Leadership. He lives in New York City.

Table of Contents


1. Youth, Revolution
2. The Constitution
3. The Federalist, The Bill of Rights
4. The First Political Party
5. Leading an Opposition
6. Wilderness Years
7. In Power
8. Problems of Power
9. President
10. War Leader
11. Retirement, Death
Epilogue: Legacy

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"A useful introduction to a man who is often outshone by his presidential predecessors but who nevertheless was instrumental in creating our modern political system." —-Kirkus

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James Madison 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I haven't finished the book yet, but so far it is what I like in a biography. I like to get to know the person not just his or her accomplishments. It is easy to read. Sometimes when there is too much quoting in 19th century language I lose interest. Mr. Brookhiser takes most of the quotes and interprets them making the language easier to understand and read.
HistReader on LibraryThing 22 days ago
It is difficult to believe "factions" or political parties, as we know them today, are only as old as our country. The battle involving constitutional thought drove the two main ideologies into separate camps; deep seated political differences became even more vitriolic during the first few presidencies. Learning about James Madison proves politics as usual were little different from our "modern day" politics. The press continue to be organs for parties, politicians change their philosophies over time, and moderates are really inconsequential in the battle between left and right powerbrokers. Richard Brookhiser's book is an abashed examination of James Madison's life. Given the resurgence of Revolutionary studies and interest from the general public, it would be easy to draft a book which only promotes Madison as an impeccable legislative mind. Brookhiser, instead, writes an honest evaluation of Madison's public career.Despite his fame as being the Father of the Constitution, Madison's political prowess was enhanced by the collaboration of Thomas Jefferson. The precursor to the Democrat party became a political dynasty capable of rendering extinct the Federalist party. Using anonymous essays in newspapers and pamphlets to shape political opinions, Madison and others were able to avoid responsibility for envelope pushing thought. Conveniently, decades later, Madison would take credit or cite himself as politically expedient. Another favorable aspect of anonymously writing is, Madison (like many others), contradicted himself over time, but his contemporaries would never know. Patronage has been a tool since George Washington's first term; I don't think most politicians would have careers without the system of payback, including Mr Madison. I am glad Richard Brookhiser continues the recent trend of honest reflection upon those we could find no fault in. Even those we consider as most virtuous and guileless were partisan, conniving and self-serving; in other words: just plain human.
ZachWilliams More than 1 year ago
A brief but insightful biography. An enjoyable & worthwhile read. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good adaptation of a sometimes forgotten founder.
Iluvwords More than 1 year ago
This biography describes a man who was a genius and a visionary and yet he was honest about the flaws of our system of government and of large and unsolved issues of this time. He, as did the rest of the founding fathers, recognized the greatest problem and contradiction in the reality and the dream and yet they could not bring themselves to solve a problem that would persist for another 50 years and require a great and terrible civil war. I would like to have gotten more insight into the relationship between James and Dolley but i enjoyed what was offered. The author showed, I think the Madison as he was.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a sketch of the man and moves fast. It is nominally held together by an interesting theme: that Madison is the father of modern politics. Unfortunately, the theme seems to disappear for significant stretches, and it is not convincing in other parts. Still, in this election season, the political machinations of the founding generation provide timely perspective on the "divisive partisanship" of our time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very poorly written and there is no sign the did any research.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did I did a biography on him!!!!!