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History of the United States During the Administrations of James Madison

4.44  ·  Rating Details ·  70 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
The second half of Henry Adam's History of the United States, this book presents the political and diplomatic history of the United States through the Administration of James Madison, the fifth president of the United States.

With continued wit, Adams details the events that led up to the War of 1812 as well as one of the best depictions of the war in written form.

Don't m
Hardcover, 1436 pages
Published July 4th 1986 by Library of America
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Greg Brozeit
Dec 12, 2013 Greg Brozeit rated it really liked it
Henry Adams’ histories of the United States in the early 19th century still rank among the best ever written. His volume on the era of the Madison administration is dominated by a history of the War of 1812 and provides an example of why the 2nd amendment was included in the Constitution.

Few Americans know much of anything about the War of 1812. Quotes like Commodore Perry’s “We have met the enemy, and they are ours,” Captain Lawrence’s dying words “Don’t give up the ship,” or Winfield Scott’s i
Just as amazing and insightful as his first volume on the Jefferson administrations, Henry Adams proves that he is as good in war as he is in peace. As this history revolves around the Madison administrations and, hence, the War of 1812, it is only natural that he should spend much of the book discussing the land and sea battles of that war. But what I didn't fully expect, and what most other readers may not fully expect, is how good he is at it. I found myself cheering when our navy harrassed t ...more
Paul Jellinek
Apr 16, 2012 Paul Jellinek rated it it was amazing
Part 2 of the 2600-page history of the US during the Jefferson and Madison administrations. It may sound like a dry topic but Adams, with his keen insights and subtle wit, makes those formative years in our nation's history come alive in a way that few if any modern historians could. A genuine tour de force that I was sorry to finally have to put down.
Apr 21, 2015 Gonzo rated it it was amazing
Bear in mind that the current writer has never spent a significant period of time with Emerson, but after completing Adams’s History, it is hard not to believe that Adams is the greatest liberal intellect America has ever produced. His insight into affairs political, military, religious, and cultural are deep and broad; his storytelling is first-rate, and his prose is as sterling and readable as anyone in English. Adams is masterful in explicating the complex ideas driving the different parties ...more
Jun 25, 2009 Tony rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Adams, Henry. HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA DURING THE ADMINISTRATIONS OF JAMES MADISON. (1889-1891; 1986). ****. I have been reading this history for the past month or so, and finally reached the end. It is not a book that can be read straight through. It’s much too dense. To describe it as monumental would be to belittle both its size and scope. This Madison opus was the second part of a work published around 1890. The first part deals with the Jefferson administrations previous to M ...more
Jun 01, 2014 Scott rated it really liked it
As a follow up to his (equally long) history of the Jefferson administration, Adams continues his story of how Jefferson's party, having achieved power in reaction to Washington and Adams efforts to strengthen the national government, over the course of sixteen years and two presidencies wound up leaving the federal government even stronger and more central to American political life than they first found it.

Adams hardly comes across as an objective observer - he makes no secret of his disrespe
Todd Stockslager
Jun 09, 2015 Todd Stockslager rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Madison's administration included the War of 1812, a comedy of errors in basis, execution, and ending, which Adams takes great delight in telling well. In all, the Americans acquitted themselves as well as might be expected for a weak, broke, pacific-minded nation.

And by the end of Madison's tenure, 1817, as Adam's recaps the state of America much like he did to start the 2,500 pages of his history, the United States are to a remarkable degree more tightly united than the fragile Union had ever
Feb 17, 2014 Stephen rated it it was amazing
Every bit the first-rate history as his preceding history of the Jefferson Administrations (1801-1809). Well-written, researched, a grand narrative. Left me thinking there's much to be redeemed of the Madison presidency, our last 'classical' administration as the nation began its steady incline toward regional power.
Craig Bolton
History of the United States During the Administrations of James Madison (Library of America) by Henry Adams (1986)
Superb! One of the most engaging history tomes I've ever read.
Jun 06, 2012 SL rated it really liked it
BRILLIANT! Among the best history books EVAH.
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Born in 1838 into one of the oldest and most distinguished families in Boston, a family which had produced two American presidents, Henry Adams had the opportunity to pursue a wide-ranging variety of intellectual interests during the course of his life. Functioning both in
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“Adams's diplomatic victory was Napoleonic in its magnitude and completeness, Even Caulaincourt, whom he overthrew, good-naturedly congratulated him after he had succeeded,against Caulaincourt"s utmost efforts,in saving all American ships."It seems you are great favorites here;you have found powerful protection,"said the defeated ambassador.The American minister felt but one drawback, he could not wholly believe that his victory was sure.Anxious by temperament,with little confidence in his own good fortune,fighting his battles with energy,but rather with that of despair than hope,the younger Adams never allowed himself to enjoy the full relish of a triumph before it staled, while he never failed to taste with the fullest flavor,as though it were a precious wine,every drop in the bitter cup of his defeats. In this, the most brilliant success of his diplomatic career, he could not be blamed for doubting whether such fortune could last. That the czar of Russia should persist in braving almost sure destruction in order to defend American rights which America herself proclaimed to be unassailed, passed the bounds of fiction.” 1 likes
“While Ross and Cockburn were hastily burning the White House and Department buildings, anxious only to escape, and never sending more than two hundred soldiers beyond Capitol Square, the President, his Cabinet, his generals, and his army were performing movements at which even the American people, though outraged and exasperated beyond endurance, could not but laugh.” 1 likes
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