The Last Founding Father by Harlow Giles Unger
James Monroe and a Nation's Call to Greatness

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 4 Critic Reviews



In this lively and compelling biography Harlow Giles Unger reveals the dominant political figure of a generation. A fierce fighter in four critical Revolutionary War battles and a courageous survivor of Valley Forge and a near-fatal wound at the Battle of Trenton, James Monroe (1751–1831) went on to become America’s first full-time politician, dedicating his life to securing America’s national and international durability.

Decorated by George Washington for his exploits as a soldier, Monroe became a congressman, a senator, U.S. minister to France and Britain, governor of Virginia, secretary of state, secretary of war, and finally America’s fifth president. The country embraced Monroe’s dreams of empire and elected him to two terms, the second time unanimously. Mentored by each of America’s first four presidents, Monroe was unquestionably the best prepared president in our history.

Like David McCullough’s John Adams and Jon Meacham’s recent book on Andrew Jackson, this new biography of Monroe is both a solid read and stellar scholarship—history in the grand tradition.


About Harlow Giles Unger

See more books from this Author
A former Distinguished Visiting Fellow in American History at George Washington's Mount Vernon, Harlow Giles Unger is a veteran journalist, broadcaster, educator, and historian. He is the author of twenty books, including six biographies of America's Founding Fathers and two other histories of the early republic.
Published September 29, 2009 by Da Capo Press. 402 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, War. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Last Founding Father

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

James Monroe (1758–1831) was a major guiding force in the territorial expansion of the country, argues historian Unger (America’s Second Revolution: How George Washington Defeated Patrick Henry and Saved the Nation, 2007, etc.).

Oct 01 2009 | Read Full Review of The Last Founding Father: Jam...

BC Books

See more reviews from this publication

I am a history buff, but admittedly, I haven't been all that interested in the history of our founding fathers.

Sep 26 2009 | Read Full Review of The Last Founding Father: Jam...

Book Reporter

Monroe is forgotten in these deeds but can be found in two historic paintings of the event: John Trumbull’s image of the aftermath of the Battle of Trenton shows a wounded Monroe lying at the feet of Washington’s horse, and in Emanuel Leutze’s iconic vision of Washington crossing the Delaware, it...

Dec 30 2010 | Read Full Review of The Last Founding Father: Jam...


Despite problems, including the Panic of 1819, there were good reasons to refer to his presidency as “the era of good feelings.” Unger vigorously refutes those historians who claim that Secretary of State John Quincy Adams wrote what Monroe is best known for, the “Monroe Doctrine.” Monroe had alm...

| Read Full Review of The Last Founding Father: Jam...

Reader Rating for The Last Founding Father

An aggregated and normalized score based on 115 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review