The three most important parts of a book are: a well constructed plot, compelling characters, and a satisfying conclusion.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

JAMES MADISON: A Life Reconsidered By Lynne Cheney

James Madison: A Life ReconsideredPublisher:  Viking
Release Date:  May 6, 2014
Pages:  576
Genre:  American History

Reviewed By WC

About the Book:  A major new biography of the fourth president of the United States by New York Times bestselling 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.

WC's Review:  Would that the pseudo leaders of the past one hundred twenty years read this timely book. Although written by Lynne Cheney, wife of our former vice president, whom some consider less than authoritative and a bit biased, which ostensibly has rubbed off on his spouse, this book is a treasure for those seeking a smidgen of little known history concerning James Madison and his fellow founders.

Teddy Roosevelt, first of the Progressives, would have been amused, but respectful; Woodrow Wilson, probably furious, for he considered himself much wiser that Madison, Jefferson, John Adams, George Mason, and many others, and more in tune with the needs, or wants, of the American public.

FDR would have laughed and then accused his beloved Eleanor of clandestine seances with the founders. LBJ would not have much cared, thinking his legacy preserved by the mighty success of his Great Society and his signature on the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

If all the reader of this extensive research volume comes away with is a clearer understanding of the original intent of "providing for the general welfare" clause in the preamble of the Constitution, then all is well. Today, however, distribution of wealth, meeting the needs, again wants, of the poor and infirm, creating class warfare and envy, are policies more in tune with the entitlement miasma the pervades society.

Does author Cheney see a change? Perhaps, but little hope. My rating - 5 Stars.

Lynne CheneyAbout the Author:  Lynne Ann Vincent Cheney, is a novelist, conservative scholar, and former talk-show host who is the wife of former Vice President Dick Cheney.