Madison was the brains: James Madison by Richard Brookhiser by Richard Brookhiser (Author)

Mar 05, 2018, 01:46 AM


(Photo: Madison's tombstone, Montpelier)

Twitter: @BatchelorShow

Madison was the brains: James Madison by Richard Brookhiser by Richard Brookhiser (Author)

Publishers Weekly

“An astute, witty biography.... [Brookhiser's] concise account deserves high marks.”

Library Journal

“Having previously examined the ‘Holy Trinity' of the Federalist Party (Washington, Hamilton, and Adams), Brookhiser turns his relaxed and accessible writing style to the oracle of American constitutionalism and ‘father of modern politics'.... He has produced an exceptional synopsis of the essential founder's political life.... Brookhiser gives fans of the Revolutionary generation and those interested in the origins of American politics an engaging and succinct narrative.”

National Review online

“If you want to read an engaging account of the life of the Father of the Constitution, this is the book for you.... The prose is clear and reader-friendly.”


“An opportune and cogent estimation of the life and times of the physically small but politically sizable Madison.... A worthy addition for early-republic American history collections.”

Washington Times

“[Brookhiser's] prose is concise and readable.... Mr. Brookhiser's James Madison captures the delicate, complex and important ideas Madison formed and the lengths he went to to see to fruition the events that have contributed to the success of the experiment of a republic.”

New York Times Book Review

“[Brookhiser's] sprightly narrative will serve as an entertaining introduction for those who are making their first acquaintance with Madison.... As an avid observer of the hyperpartisan political environment of our own age, Brookhiser uses Madison's often tumultuous career to remind us that day-to-day politics have never been very pretty. Anyone involved in the political wars as long and as relentlessly as Madison was surely bound to make a few missteps, and a few enemies, along the way. But Brookhiser effectively argues that Madison, by melding his knowledge of political theory with shrewd political instincts, deserves a place close to the top of the list of America's most successful politicians.”

The New Yorker

“In this congenial biography, the fourth President does indeed shine....[Brookhiser's] descriptions of Madison's friendships combine sentiment and anecdote in irresistible proportion.”

Thomas S. Kidd, Books & Culture

“Richard Brookhiser's James a welcome addition to the literature on Madison. His lively biography helps us understand Madison's political brilliance and its lessons for today.... [Brookhiser] is the rare author who grasps the complexities both of history and of contemporary politics.”

National Review

“When walking the halls of the Revolutionary and early Federal periods, Brookhiser is a writer of the Plutarchan stamp, capable of reducing his subjects to their essence without resort to the gross simplifications of the reductionist. He tells us what we should know, not – exhaustively – what we might know. His books have a light touch, and the characters who emerge from his pages take on the reality they deserve. They don't gather dust; they cast shadows.... Brookhiser simply shines pinpoints of light, penetratingly, into the more obscure corners of Madison's life and work, raises his achievements into higher relief, and elevates this founder to a proper, merited place among his brethren. And that is much.”


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About the Author

Richard Brookhiser is Senior Editor of the National Review and the author of nine books, including Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington; Alexander Hamilton, American; America's First Dynasty: The Adamses, 1735–1918; and Gent...