Download James Madison: A Life Reconsidered Audiobook

James Madison: A Life Reconsidered Audiobook, by Lynne Cheney Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Lynne Cheney Narrator: Eliza Foss Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2014 ISBN: 9780698162662
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A major new biography of the fourth U.S. president, from New York Times–bestselling author Lynne Cheney

James Madison was a true genius of the early republic, the leader who did more than any other to create the nation we know today. This majestic new biography tells his story.

Outwardly reserved, Madison was the intellectual driving force behind the Constitution. His visionary political philosophy—eloquently presented in the Federalist Papers—was a crucial factor behind the Constitution’s ratification, and his political savvy was of major importance in getting the new government underway. As secretary of state under Thomas Jefferson, 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 while remaining true to its young constitution.

From the Trade Paperback edition. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “With this compelling, elegant, original biography, Lynne Cheney brings the great, elusive James Madison back to life.”

    Michael Beschloss, New York times bestselling author

  • “A lovingly researched tribute to an often underestimated man.”


  • “Cheney’s biography is lucidly written (her description of the Madisons’ actions during the burning of the buildings in the capital in 1814 is especially dramatic), and she clearly brings to life the character and personality of Madison. Apart from Ralph Louis Ketcham’s 1971 life, this is probably the best single-volume biography of Madison that we now have.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “In a meticulously researched, richly detailed look at the life and times of Madison, former Second Lady Cheney fleshes out the achievements and struggles of this American Founding Father. As much a biography of the statesman, intellectual, and politician who rose to become president as a history of the country’s tumultuous post-Revolutionary War growth, the work covers a lot of ground. Authoritative, conversational, certainly confident in its analysis, the book paints Madison as a man of great accomplishments; one who struggled against setbacks, political opponents, and health problems…Cheney conclusively demonstrates through the historical record that Madison, in word and deed, was a primary figure in shaping early American development and successfully establishes ‘a deeper understanding of the man who did more than any other to conceive and establish the nation we know.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “An analysis of James Madison’s life, beliefs, character, and influences. Although notable biographies of Madison appeared in 2013, Cheney, in a primary-sourced, sprightly, and innovative study, emphasizes how this theorist and practical politician successfully utilized what might have been impediments in other statesmen…In this balanced account, Cheney portrays the man’s interaction with his advisor and wife, Dolley, as well as with other political actors. Verdict: A nuanced study on its own and a thoughtful presentation by one of today’s prominent public intellectuals. This title is useful and accessible on many levels, for its biographical revelations, particularly regarding Madison’s health and the basis of his temperament, and as a cerebral encounter with a Founder with a lasting legacy.”

    Library Journal

  • “A Founding Father gets a respectful reappraisal…A proficiently argued account for Madison’s greatness.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “With heartfelt enthusiasm, narrator Eliza Foss captures Lynne Cheney’s admiration for James Madison, the US president who led the nation through the War of 1812, and husband of Dolly Madison. Foss excels at making clear the archaic language of laws and political discourse of the time period. Her narration reflects a firm style as she tells the story of Madison’s part in developing the Bill of Rights. She squarely hits home the sarcasm and bombast of his political opponents. Overall, Foss helps make the book a strong reminder of Madison’s role in American history. It’s also a refresher on many of the arguments behind the Constitution.”


  • “[Lynne Cheney’s] writing is both fluid and polished; the tone is measured and judicious. Her treatment of Madison…is informed by a sophisticated knowledge of politics, without in any way being presentist.”

    David B. Mattern, senior associate editor, Papers of James Madison, University of Virginia

  • A New York Times bestseller
  • A Washington Post bestseller
  • A Publishers Weekly bestseller

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About the Author

 Lynne Cheney is author of several New York Times bestsellers, including America: A Patriotic Primer, A Is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women, and Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America. She is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a former chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her husband is former Vice President Richard B. Cheney.

About the Narrator

Eliza Foss is an actress who has appeared in numerous theaters in New York City and around the country. She has narrated over thirty books and short stories, been featured in AudioFile magazine, and won five AudioFile Earphones Awards for her narrations.