James Madison by Broadwater Jeff
A Son of Virginia and a Founder of the Nation

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Synopsis

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.
 

About Broadwater Jeff

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Jeff Broadwater is professor of history at Barton College and author of ###George Mason, Forgotten Founder#.
 
Published March 16, 2012 by The University of North Carolina Press. 285 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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this approach is both significant and refreshing in presenting Madison as a flawed man, rather than a godlike “founding father.” The author focuses exclusively on Madison the politician, and thereby exposes some of Madison’s less respectable motives for tackling his political enemies—one favored ...

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Kirkus Reviews

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A workmanlike study of the checks-and-balances Founding Father from Virginia.

Mar 02 2012 | Read Full Review of James Madison: A Son of Virgi...

Publishers Weekly

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Given the myriad biographies of the Founding Fathers—and in an attempt to correct the notion that, in Joseph Ellis's words, Madison "seemed to lack a personal agenda because he seemed to lack a personality," Broadwater specifically provides readers with a detailed account of Madison's attempts ...

Mar 12 2012 | Read Full Review of James Madison: A Son of Virgi...

Open Letters Monthly

then one realizes war has been declared… Madison and Jefferson certainly had no intention of founding a party or “faction,” as a political party was then often called…Factions were like germs–ubiquitous and unhealthy… And yet founding a party is exactly what Jefferson and Madison now began to do...

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Open Letters Monthly

As a short one-volume work on Madison, Broadwater’s book doesn’t equal the witty eloquence of Richard Brookhiser’s similar book from a decade ago, but it’ll be a welcome addition to the library of any fan of the Founding Fathers – or, because such miserable creatures do exist, though we can scarc...

Jan 31 2013 | Read Full Review of James Madison: A Son of Virgi...

City Book Review

The third James Madison biography to come out this year, this book focuses on a couple of different aspects of Madison’s life: his time as president, and his views on slavery.

Jun 14 2012 | Read Full Review of James Madison: A Son of Virgi...

ForeWord Reviews

and, more broadly, to promote bipartisanship and national unity.” James Madison: A Son of Virginia and a Founder of the Nation isn’t a sweeping historical drama but rather a nitty-gritty political tale, and it will appeal to readers looking for an in-depth analysis of Madison’s revolutionary th...

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