James Madison: A Life Reconsidered by Lynne Cheney covers Madison's contribution to the founding of our republic, his life, and his dogma. The driving force behind the creation of the Constitution, the leader of the First Congress, and Washington's chief advisor, Madison's genius and everyday strengths of a man of character are recognized and given their full due in this fascinating biography. 563 pages, hardcover with dust jacket.
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 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.
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.
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