James Madison: The American Presidents Series: The 4th President, 1809-1817

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Macmillan, Apr 2, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 184 pages
6 Reviews

A bestselling historian examines the life of a Founding Father.

Renowned historian and social commentator Garry Wills takes a fresh look at the life of James Madison, from his rise to prominence in the colonies through his role in the creation of the Articles of Confederation and the first Constitutional Congress.

Madison oversaw the first foreign war under the constitution, and was forced to adjust some expectations he had formed while drafting that document. Not temperamentally suited to be a wartime President, Madison nonetheless confronted issues such as public morale, internal security, relations with Congress, and the independence of the military. Wills traces Madison's later life during which, like many recent Presidents, he enjoyed greater popularity than while in office.

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User Review  - mybucketlistofbooks - LibraryThing

Garry Wills is always worth reading. He argues Madison's success as a legislator actually hindered him while he was President - which Wills views as less than successful. Read full review

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User Review  - cyderry - LibraryThing

This book, IMHO, does not do justice to either the man or the era in which he served, glossing over a number of critical aspects and continually stressing other aspects. He was a great legislator but ... Read full review

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About the author (2002)

Garry Wills is a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and cultural critic, and a professor of history at Northwestern University. A recipient of the National Book Award, his many books include Lincoln at Gettysburg, Reagan's America, Witches and Jesuits, and a biography of Saint Augustine. He lives in Evanston, Illinois.

Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., is arguably the preeminent political historian of our time. For more than half a century, he has been a cornerstone figure in the intellectual life of the nation and a fixture on the political scene. He served as special assistant to John F. Kennedy; won two Pulitzer Prizes for The Age of Jackson (1946) and A Thousand Days (1966); and in 1998 received the National Humanities Medal. He published the first volume of his autobiography, A Life in the Twentieth Century, in 2000.