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First let me say I love biographies and this is one of the first that I can't get through. I'm stuck at 3/4 of the way and don't know if I can make it. Actually, it's not really a biography at all since you won't really end up knowing Madison the man. However, you will have read the entire transcript of the Constitutional Convention and the Virginia ratification deliberations.
For all Madison's mental prowess and philosophical rigor, the sheer weight of the author's obsession with the minutiae of the various Conventions is just plain boring. This reads like a very good doctoral dissertation expanded into a not so good book. I will probably finish it just because I got this far, and just to see if Gutzman even mentions James meeting Dolly. But if you download this book, be prepared for a long slog.
OHHH, and the most annoying thing is the pretentious affect of the narrator who (nearly) always pronounces the many, many days and dates as, "...from January first, seventeen hundred seventy-one to January second, seventeen hundred seventy-one the delegates discussed Article III..." However, sometimes he slips and resorts to the normal, "January first, seventeen seventy-one". After a while I became fixated not on the action (or lack thereof) but on whether he would use the archaic long form or slip and use the contemporary short form.
I'm currently searching for a another biography that will let me get to know this likely very amazing man and politician.
11 of 15 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
I would recommend this book with caveats as parts are quite slow going.
Would you be willing to try another book from Kevin R. C. Gutzman? Why or why not?
Sure, with careful attention to others' comments about the nature of the book.
Which character – as performed by Arthur Morey – was your favorite?
James Madison is the only one who stood out.
Was James Madison and the Making of America worth the listening time?
Yes, for a different perspective on the law-making processes of the time.
Any additional comments?
With all the detailed accounts of the 'ayes' and 'nays' in the law-making process, it is challenging at times to stay engaged.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful