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The Last of the Fathers: James Madison and the Republican Legacy
In recounting the experience of Madison and several of his legatees who witnessed the violent test of whether his republic could endure, this study dramatizes the human side of critical cultural and political issues.
Paperback, 373 pages
Published 1991 by Cambridge University Press
(first published March 31st 1989)
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In this work, Drew McCoy traces James Madison towards the end of his life. Madison is the only one left, Jefferson has been gone for over half a decade and James Monroe has been gone for just that. The nation that they built is being run by a new generation, it is larger, it is more powerful, and it is, strangely enough, even more divided. Yet, Madison is as active as ever, the former president, finds himself getting back into the political arena to fight again. The issues drive Madison, ...more
This is an interesting book but I would have liked the author not to use three sentences, with the biggest words he can find, instead of one sentence. I guess history classes might not mind ersatz, filiopietism and manumission since it could be on their test but as a history enthusiast don't really end the extra high in step words.
This isn't a fluffy biography. It is carefully researched and cited and includes some really thought provoking arguments. I especially appreciated the nuanced treatment of Madison's position on slavery. Primarily the book covers the time after Madison's presidency and into his old age so if you're looking for a run down of his life before and during his time as president this book isn't for you.