James Madison by Lynne Cheney

James Madison

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 r...

Details James Madison

TitleJames Madison
Release DateMay 6th, 2014
GenreBiography, History, Politics, Presidents, North American Hi..., American History, Nonfiction

Reviews James Madison

  • Celia
    James Madison, A Life ReconsideredIs a biography of our fourth president written by Lynn Cheney.I continue my quest to read at least one biography or memoir about each of our presidents.About Madison I have learned (or was reminded) that he • Suffered from a form of epilepsy• Contributed to the Federalist Papers• Wrote the Constitution• Fell in love with Kitty Floyd, who eventually broke the engagement• Met and married widow Dolley Payn...
  • Ron
    Why write another biography of a historic figure, who every school child knows all about? Because modern scholarship allows the diligent researcher to retrace exchanges by letters, some in cipher, with official records and contemporary media accounts to give a fuller picture of who said and did what to and with whom. This approach is especially fruitful with eighteenth century figures whose correspondence was saved. Through these we learn that th...
  • Grumpus
    Well researched but it felt (actually sounded as I listened to this as an audiobook) more like a newspaper story. Lots of reporting of the facts but it failed to weave a story that brings the reader in along the lines of a good Ron Chernow or David McCullough biography.
  • Tex Reader
    3.5 of 5 stars – An Interesting Bio of a Fascinating Man in American History(I'm excited to have won this as a Goodreads First Read – so thanks!)I love history and bios, particularly those of the revolutionary era, but I hadn’t yet read one devoted to this intriguing founding father. Cheney does a good job of capturing Madison and enlightening us on the details of his life, accomplishments and times.I’ve read a number of bios of American ...
  • John Daly
    Book 19 of 40 for 2016It's hard to believe that I've never read a stand alone biography of James Madison. Earlier this year I read "The First Congress" which gave a great amount of insight into James Madison's work in making the First Congress work. I picked up Lynne Cheney's James Madison when it came out two years ago.Cheney does a great job of keeping the book moving and not getting bogged down but giving a lot of great information.It was inte...
  • Larry Bassett
    First let me comment on the title of this book: A Life Reconsidered. The author notes that she feels that James Madison has often been slighted in his role as president. She wished to revisit that historic view. I also want to note for what it's worth that the author is the wife of former Vice President Dick Cheney. My own recollections of reading about James Madison in other presidential literature is that James Monroe who was Madisons Secretary...
  • Cami
    James Madison has always been one of my favorite presidents. He was humble, calm and an incredible writer. I was always curious about his portrayal as shy and weak. This book really helped me better understand his life and personality. He was an incredible man and this book was well written and engaging.
  • Karen
    Lynne Cheney's book on James Madison is very well researched and very readable. Some of the information was a repeat for me, since I had read biographies of Washington, Adams and Jefferson prior to this, but I have to admit that I really didn't know much about the War of 1812.
  • Ann
    Another truly remarkable man in the line-up of America's Founding Fathers ! I came away from this biography with a great respect for James Madison and his contributions to the beginnings of our great country. Our country owes a great deal to the brilliant mind of this man who was, in his twenties, a member of the Virginia legislator, and who saw, early on, the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation and became committed to a stronger form of ...
  • Rachel Jorgensen
    I’m enjoying reading (or more accurately listening to on audible) about the presidents but it’s beginning to get depressing to see how much fighting and party tactics have been happening since the very first presidents. I guess some things never change.
  • Katherine Wacker
    Lynne Cheney’s James Madison: A Life Reconsidered, a biography of the 4th President of the United States, is a comprehensive look at one of the most important yet unknown of America’s founders. The book begins with highlights from Madison’s childhood, his college days, and his battle with epilepsy. It continues with his views on the War for Independence, the writing of the Constitution, the Presidency, and the War of 1812. This is perhaps t...
  • Sarah
    I didn't finish, got halfway, and its due back at Library and cannot renew because there is waitlist.I really only picked this up to make an evaluation of Lynne Cheney (yes, that Cheney). I've concluded she's a good historian, and a fair writer. This did not grab me in the same way many other historical books have (think McCullogh or KearnsGoodwin). Do not know if that is me, Lynne or the material. Madison, while very active in the forming of our...
  • MBJ
    I had a difficult time reading this book. Lynne Cheney‘s research is impeccable, but writing is not her strong suit. Readers have become a bit spoiled by the quality of writing that is prevalent in most non-fiction today. It was a challenge to stay focused on a book that to me read more like an encyclopedia than a captivating biography. Nonetheless, Ms Cheney deserves high marks for the integrity and completeness of her work.
  • Julie
    If you're a fan of past participle, passive voice, and blanks in history filled with, "One imagines...", then this book is for you. I didn't listen to the last 3 hours of the audiobook because, quite frankly, I didn't care anymore.
  • Lynn Diane
    Equal parts of fascination and boredom.
  • Matt McAlear
    Long book but worth the read. Very interesting to know Madison's trials and how he overcame them.
  • Martin Lowery
    Lynne Cheney, wife of evil Hollywood character Dick, writes her own biography on the father of the American constitution. The book was well worth the read, focusing mostly on Madison's early life and his philosophy underpinning his constitutional predilections.
  • John
    TL;DR: Though I was nervous about potential political undertones to the work, I was pleasantly surprised by a balanced, well-told account of Madison's life. I want to immediately say that I approached this book with some trepidation. Lynne Cheney is the wife of Dick Cheney, a man with whom, to put it mildly, I have some political disagreements. I decided to give it a shot because I have been reading through the Founders’ lives lately, and I tho...
  • P.e. lolo
    A wonderful book and a look into the life of James Madison, in more than just writing the Federalist papers, and the Constitution. I had also forgotten that he was Sectary of State when Jefferson was President and that he handle the Louisiana Purchase after it was bought from France. I also did not know that he was the President during the war of 1812 our first war after the Constitution. He also severed from epilepsy and really looked out for in...
  • Shannon McDermott
    James Madison, more than a Founding Father, is the father of the Constitution – the author of that document, less dazzling but more solid, more worthwhile than the Declaration of Independence. In her new biography of our fourth president, Lynne Cheney asks us to consider again James Madison, his achievements and their meaning.James Madison: A Life Reconsidered is a beautifully written book. Lynne Cheney acquits history of the old charge (made c...
  • Jim B
    Every American needs to know the stories of the founding of our country. I've enjoyed reading "John Adams" by David McCullough, and now this biography of James Madison, the great man behind the constitution. Those who make heroes out of everyone who lived at revolutionary times are unaware of how precarious the early years of our nation were. Are you ever discouraged by all the trolls and shallow people who comment on the news stories on the Inte...
  • Lisa
    What an interesting read. This book did a great job presenting the struggles, frustrations, successes, and failures of creating a new country. In school we could not delved into and fully absorb what the founding fathers went through. We just got a snippet of it. There just wasn't enough time. But this book really help me see what they went through and gives me a better understanding of what happened. The main focus of the book is to show how inf...
  • Josh Muhlenkamp
    I read this book as part of Goodreads' First Reads program.The list of things I didn't like about this book will make it seem like this was an utterly awful attempt by Ms. Cheney, but it's not that bad. The list of things not to like is a little bit superficial, for the most part, and the deeper part of the book is definitely readable.One of the first things I disliked was Cheney's constant use of doubt to fill in holes in her knowledge/research....
  • Robert Sparrenberger
    Very readable account of the life and times of James Madison. I've read all of the biographies on the founding fathers and I would rate this one in the middle. Addresses all the issues of the time without being preachy or resorting to the trap the biographers sometimes fall into of worshiping their subject. The one very minor issue I had with the writing was the sprinkling of supposition into the story about what Madison may have been doing at va...
  • Ivan
    FIRST LINE REVIEW: "He hurried along Market Street, his high-crowned hat offering scant protection against the rain." And with this personal beginning, Cheney continues to paint a well-researched and, as importantly, engaging portrait of a founding-father president I knew little about. Now I'm greatly impressed with Madison, his challenges, his victories and his legacy. And that's the true mark of an excellent biography. I'm now eager to visit Mo...
  • Eric
    An enjoyable book. The author. Spent most of the book on Madison's pre-presidency life and times. Confirmed that Madison was instrumental in our constitution that O is shredding. The insight of our founders is amazing in how they designed our government. I don't believe Madison ever thought a a president would ever exert powers not explicitly laid out in the constitution but he also thought Congress would have the balls to not let its powers be t...
  • Jeff Wilson
    I enjoyed reading this biography of Madison greatly. Cheney clearly knows her subject very well and skillfully presents his life in this text. I particularly liked this biography because I came to the subject knowing very little of it. I found Madison's life to be most interesting after he became president. His life before was extraordinary but not to the same extent as was his contemporaries. I am particularly impressed, however, by his actions ...
  • Dave Hoff
    The author wrote a readable book on the complex matters of putting together necessary documents to rule a democracy. Madison, a patient genius, who had differing opinions from other founding fathers. He had a loving younger wife, a ner-do-well stepson, a private secretary, Edward Cole who helps Madison when in financial straits. I found Mr. Cole made the thick book worth reading to the end.
  • Molly
    This is a well-researched, well-written book. I enjoyed reading it and I learned a great deal about James Madison. Lynne Cheney presents the facts of Madison's life in a cohesive narrative that keeps the reader interested without getting bogged down in the nitty gritty of early American political life. I highly recommend this book.