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Friends and political allies for most of their lives, Madison was the Constitution's principal author, Monroe one of its leading opponents. Monroe thought the Constitution gave the federal government too much power and failed to guarantee fundamental rights. Madison believed that without the Constitution, the United States would not survive.
It was the most important congressional race in American history, more important than all but a few presidential elections, and yet it is one that historians have virtually ignored. In Founding Rivals, DeRose, himself a political strategist who has fought campaigns in Madison and Monroe's district, relives the campaign, retraces the candidates' footsteps, and offers the first insightful, comprehensive history of this high-stakes political battle.
How Madison's election ensured the passage of a Bill of Rights - and how Monroe's election would have ensured its failure
How Madison came from behind to win a narrow victory (by a margin of only 336 votes) in a district gerrymandered against him
How the Bill of Rights emerged as a campaign promise to Virginia's evangelical Christians
Why Madison's defeat might have led to a new Constitutional Convention - and the breakup of the United States
Founding Rivals tells the extraordinary, neglected story of two of America's most important Founding Fathers. Brought to life by unparalleled research, it is one of the most provocative books of American political history you will listen to this year.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Garshom L. Arkoff on 07-09-13
A Must for Anyone Interested in the Constitution
I am a big US History buff and care deeply about US political history and history of the US Constitution & Bill of Rights.
This book is written in a way that is approachable and interesting. The author gives the listener enough background and information to understand the players and issues without becoming dry. The account of the debates that went into creating the US Constitution are a must listen if you are a US history buff, a political junky or just someone who cares deeply about the Bill of Rights.
Before I listened to this book, I knew a fair amount about the revolutionary generation and the formation of the fledgling United States but I knew almost nothing about the efforts and issues that went into transforming the US Government from the Articles of Confederation to the US Constitution.
The only reason why I did not give the story five stars is that I felt like the early part of the book gives a lot of lead-up and background about the two main characters that, while potentially interesting, did not really help me better understand the issues and debates.