James Madison

  • by Lynne Cheney
  • Narrated by Eliza Foss
  • 18 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A major new biography of the fourth president of the United States by New York Times best-selling 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 ratification. His visionary political philosophy and rationale for the union of states - so eloquently presented in The Federalist papers - helped shape the country Americans live in today.
Along with Thomas Jefferson, Madison would found the first political party in the country’s history - the Democratic Republicans. As Jefferson’s secretary of state, he managed the Louisiana Purchase, doubling the size of the United States. As president, Madison led the country in its first war under the Constitution, the War of 1812. Without precedent to guide him, he would demonstrate that a republic could defend its honor and independence - and remain a republic still.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Nice history of the early national period

I was expecting something more like Ron Chernow's biographies of Washington and Hamilton. This book seems more like a history of the early national period. Madison was certainly a major part of that period but in this book he just seems like a character in the larger story rather than the center of attention. It's fine, but I wish I had picked one of the older Madison biographies on audible.
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- Teresa

Lynne Cheney Ain't No David McCullough

Would you try another book from Lynne Cheney and/or Eliza Foss?


What could Lynne Cheney have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Rely more on factual events and writings rather than speculating or "imagining" what it must have been like during the course of the events written about.

Would you be willing to try another one of Eliza Foss’s performances?

It would depend on the subject of the book.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment. A waste of my time. I expected a better narrative of one of the most influential and fascinating people in U.S. history.

Any additional comments?

While it usually doesn't matter to me whether a book is narrated by a man or woman as long as the performance is good, I must say that the choice of narrators here was not a good one. I have encountered many female narrators who have done an excellent job "voicing" the men in a book but that was not the case here. This book seemed to need a man's voice considering virtually all the individuals quoted or referred to are men, or at least a better female narrator. Foss sounded like a 2nd grade school teacher and an uninspired one at that. In addition to a poor choice in narrators, Cheney's book itself was not satisfying. I barely got 1/3 of the way through before I had to give it up and it was a struggle to stick with it that long. I cannot count how many times Cheney relies on speculation of facts or "imagining" what it must have been like to fill out her narrative. Isn't there plenty of factual evidence on which the narrative can rely without retreating to inferring, guessing or imagining? Cheney's attempts to be folksy or familiar with her subject also falls flat. I just do not find her to be a good writer. I do not recommend this book at all on any level.

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Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-06-2014
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio