James and Dolley Madison: America's First Power Couple
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James and Dolley Madison: America's First Power Couple

3.1 of 5 stars 3.10  ·  rating details  ·  29 ratings  ·  6 reviews
This revealing new portrait of James and Dolley Madison introduces the reader to America’s first power couple. Using recently uncovered troves of letters at the University of Virginia, among other sources, historian Bruce Chadwickhas been able to reconstruct the details of the Madisons’ personal and political lives.

Chadwick argues that Madison was not a boring, average pr...more
Hardcover, 450 pages
Published February 4th 2014 by Prometheus Books (first published January 1st 2014)
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If you knew nothing about this couple, reading this book would lead you to believe all they ever did, achieved or were about is partying. If that is the point, this deserved a short essay not 300 plus pages. Not only was it repetitive but the same quotes were even repeated as if the author forgot he already used them. Odd bits are dropped in like afterthoughts. How you can write a book about the man who wrote the constitution and make it seem like a small bit he did while young amazes me. Nothin...more
Interesting enough, but the writing style seemed a bit amateurish for such an accomplished biographer. Weak, repetitive analysis, and confusing to follow at points. At one point, someone died, and two pages later Chadwick was talking about him as if he were still alive.
Linda Mcritchie
Repetitive at times and nothing about his early life with 11 brothers and sisters. You won't get to know the real James Madison from this book.
I don't think this manuscript was ever seen by an editor or proofreader. The author repeats himself frequently, needs to review comma usage, and it is full of what I hope are typographical errors. I did learn some interesting information about the Madisons, but the length of the book could probably be cut in half. The author also insists on injecting his personal opinions, and he makes a lot of assumptions. For instance, regarding a letter that Dolley wrote to her son, Payne: "Payne's reaction?...more
An entertaining, gossipy read by prolific author and professor Bruce Chadwick. The author has an obvious admiration for his subjects, but also discusses some of their human shortcomings, such as their ownership of slaves. Gives a good account of how Dolley shaped the role of "First Lady" and her husband the role of "Commander in Chief." War (although these terms were not used until later). The text has some editorial issues -- might have benefited from a red pencil in some spots. I wouldn't go o...more
found myself saying "who knew?" throughout the entire read; madison was a stud: though sickly he persevered into his 8os, he wrote the constitution, he road at the head of the army in the war of 1812, he was an enlightened statesman and farmer and perhaps the most underrated founding father ... dolly was a wonder, a brilliant woman who is a true patriot, plus she was at the forefront of showing off cleavage ... if you aren't a goodreads snob, you could learn a lot from this book; it's a worthwhi...more
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