Elected the fifth president of the United States in 1816, James Madison sought to bridge divisions and sow unity, and he strengthened American power both at home and abroad. His life was marked by revolutions, Tim McGrath points out, from the battlefields of the War for Independence, to his ambassadorship in Paris in the days of the guillotine, to his own role in the creation of Congress's partisan divide. Surveying a dynamic and complex life, McGrath notes Monroe's negotiations with France over the Louisiana Purchase, his valiant leadership when the British ransacked the nation's capital, and his struggle with his own complicity in slavery.
"This is a welcome and long-overdue portrait…. A first-rate account of a remarkable life."—Jon Meacham