For several years, I've been slowly reading my way through the biographies of America's presidents. Too often, however, I find my progress impeded either by the lack of good solid historical research or a boring, academic dissertational style of writing. I've been looking forward to this one and when Penguin's publicist asked if I'd like to run a giveaway and review the book, it only took about 10 keystrokes to hit the reply button and say "YES!"
So faithful readers, we want to choose one lucky winner in time to get this and give as a Father's Day gift. I don't have time to read and review it before then, but promise you a review sometime this summer. For now let's just look at what everyone else is saying about this author and her latest work..
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.WHO: Lynne Cheney, wife of former Vice President Dick Cheney, is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. She is the author or co-author of twelve books, includes six bestsellers about American history for children and their families. Cheney’s most recent book is We the People: The Story of Our Constitution (2008).
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.
WHAT: Cheney, who holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, has been studying Madison since 1987, when she was a member of the Commission on the Bicentennial of the Constitution. She has spent the last five years immersed in Madison archival materials, and the result is a lively, intimate, and compelling narrative that takes the reader through the history-altering events in which Madison played key roles. He was not only the Father of the Constitution, but the leader of the first Congress and President Washington’s most influential advisor. He used both positions and a political savvy unmatched since to secure passage of the Bill of Rights. In 1812, he became the first president to lead the nation in war under the Constitution, and he was not only as steady a commander-in-chief as the nation has ever known, he was a friend of liberty, refusing to silence those opposed to war, although many pressed him to do so.
WHY: Father of the Constitution, principle author of the Bill of Rights, founder of the first opposition party, secretary of state, and fourth president, Madison was both a far-seeing theorist and a masterful politician, who despite all he accomplished has been overshadowed by other Founders. Mrs. Cheney covers the sweep of Madison’s significant life, exploring his deeds, his mind, and his character to reveal the brilliance and determination that enabled this seemingly modest man to change the world. Debunking the myths that have burdened his reputation, she shows us the Madison lauded by his famous contemporaries—Washington, Adams, Jefferson—and loved by his glamorous wife, Dolley.
So...here are the rules for entering:
1. Each entry should be a separate comment.
2. Open to U.S. Addresses only - no P.O. Boxes.
3. Leave a comment, including your email address, stating why you want to win. NO EMAIL, NO ENTRY.
4. Extra entries if you tell me how you follow this blog (if you follow in more than one way, make each a separate entry.)
5. Another extra entry if you go to the Penguin book page and then make a comment telling me how many quotes are listed in the "praise" section.
5. Deadline for entries is 11:55PM EDT Sunday June 8th. I will notify the winner by 6:00 PM Monday June 9th. The winner will have only 48 hours to reply with a mailing address so that we can get this delivered in time for Father's Day giving.