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Madison and Jefferson af Andrew Burstein
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Madison and Jefferson (udgave 2010)

af Andrew Burstein (Forfatter), Nancy Isenberg (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
245882,465 (4.18)4
The third and fourth presidents have long been considered proper and noble gentlemen, with Thomas Jefferson's genius overshadowing James Madison's judgment and common sense. But in this revelatory book, both leaders are seen as men of their times, ruthless and hardboiled operatives in a gritty world of primal politics where they struggled for supremacy for more than fifty years.… (mere)
Medlem:eeconley31
Titel:Madison and Jefferson
Forfattere:Andrew Burstein (Forfatter)
Andre forfattere:Nancy Isenberg (Forfatter)
Info:Random House (2010), Edition: 1, 848 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:to-read, history-biography

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Madison and Jefferson af Andrew Burstein

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» Se også 4 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 8 (næste | vis alle)
If you've read David McCullough's excellent John Adams, you're aware of the interesting friendship Adams had with Thomas Jefferson, both men dying within hours of each other on July 4, exactly fifty years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. But even that relationship pales in comparison to the one between Jefferson and James Madison, the 4th president. And in this excellent dual political biography, Andrew Burstein and Nancy Isenberg have turned the order of the presidents around in their title in an effort to reassert the forgotten contributions of Madison. (Well, that and maybe the fact that Jefferson and Madison as a title had already been used.) Madison wasn't simply Jefferson's "junior," but more like the driving force behind Jefferson's reentry into politics in 1796.

As I've read and studied about the founding of our nation, in my mind George Washington perhaps stands closest to the ideal of a truly noble hero. John Adams is likewise admirable, although hampered by his vanity and having the misfortune to follow in Washington's very long shadow. By the time I get to Thomas Jefferson, though, things get ugly. The nastiness of party politics becomes intractable - and Jefferson was a natural at hardball politics.

Both Jefferson and Madison were Virginians first, which heavily influenced their politics. Jefferson, the idealist and philosopher, is quite frequently seen as a walking contradiction. His lofty ideals and eloquent way with words had a way of swaying opinion. His fear of monarchial tendencies in government drove his policies, and he sought to maintain states rights and limit the power of the federal government (even while, as president, he greatly enlarged federal power). Madison, credited as the "Father of the Constitution" for his monumental efforts in 1787, is seen wrongly as a continuation of the Jefferson presidency, and many assumed Jefferson was still pulling the strings. In spite of their close friendship, they frequently differed in opinions and the courses of action they took. And while Jefferson appears as cordial and pleasant, Madison is portrayed unfairly as cold and unemotional. And Burstein and Isenberg do a good job of highlighting the important role played by Madison in the history both had such a huge role in.

This is a lengthy book with the narrative being almost 650 pages long, with dense writing that requires careful attention. As such, it's probably directed at serious readers of history rather than casual ones. The focus is mostly on politics, although there's enough information on their personal lives to give it a good balance. With two authors it sometimes feels a little uneven, although the book doesn't suffer for it. The ending, however, seemed almost disconnected and I vaguely suspected the authors of inserting some of their own personal present-day politics into the story. But even this doesn't take away from the terrific work they've compiled, and in spite of the length and depth it kept my interest throughout. ( )
  J.Green | Aug 26, 2014 |
If you've read David McCullough's excellent John Adams, you're aware of the interesting friendship Adams had with Thomas Jefferson, both men dying within hours of each other on July 4, exactly fifty years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. But even that relationship pales in comparison to the one between Jefferson and James Madison, the 4th president. And in this excellent dual political biography, Andrew Burstein and Nancy Isenberg have turned the order of the presidents around in their title in an effort to reassert the forgotten contributions of Madison. (Well, that and maybe the fact that Jefferson and Madison as a title had already been used.) Madison wasn't simply Jefferson's "junior," but more like the driving force behind Jefferson's reentry into politics in 1796.

As I've read and studied about the founding of our nation, in my mind George Washington perhaps stands closest to the ideal of a truly noble hero. John Adams is likewise admirable, although hampered by his vanity and having the misfortune to follow in Washington's very long shadow. By the time I get to Thomas Jefferson, though, things get ugly. The nastiness of party politics becomes intractable - and Jefferson was a natural at hardball politics.

Both Jefferson and Madison were Virginians first, which heavily influenced their politics. Jefferson, the idealist and philosopher, is quite frequently seen as a walking contradiction. His lofty ideals and eloquent way with words had a way of swaying opinion. His fear of monarchial tendencies in government drove his policies, and he sought to maintain states rights and limit the power of the federal government (even while, as president, he greatly enlarged federal power). Madison, credited as the "Father of the Constitution" for his monumental efforts in 1787, is seen wrongly as a continuation of the Jefferson presidency, and many assumed Jefferson was still pulling the strings. In spite of their close friendship, they frequently differed in opinions and the courses of action they took. And while Jefferson appears as cordial and pleasant, Madison is portrayed unfairly as cold and unemotional. And Burstein and Isenberg do a good job of highlighting the important role played by Madison in the history both had such a huge role in.

This is a lengthy book with the narrative being almost 650 pages long, with dense writing that requires careful attention. As such, it's probably directed at serious readers of history rather than casual ones. The focus is mostly on politics, although there's enough information on their personal lives to give it a good balance. With two authors it sometimes feels a little uneven, although the book doesn't suffer for it. The ending, however, seemed almost disconnected and I vaguely suspected the authors of inserting some of their own personal present-day politics into the story. But even this doesn't take away from the terrific work they've compiled, and in spite of the length and depth it kept my interest throughout. ( )
  J.Green | Aug 26, 2014 |
If you've read David McCullough's excellent John Adams, you're aware of the interesting friendship Adams had with Thomas Jefferson, both men dying within hours of each other on July 4, exactly fifty years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. But even that relationship pales in comparison to the one between Jefferson and James Madison, the 4th president. And in this excellent dual political biography, Andrew Burstein and Nancy Isenberg have turned the order of the presidents around in their title in an effort to reassert the forgotten contributions of Madison. (Well, that and maybe the fact that Jefferson and Madison as a title had already been used.) Madison wasn't simply Jefferson's "junior," but more like the driving force behind Jefferson's reentry into politics in 1796.

As I've read and studied about the founding of our nation, in my mind George Washington perhaps stands closest to the ideal of a truly noble hero. John Adams is likewise admirable, although hampered by his vanity and having the misfortune to follow in Washington's very long shadow. By the time I get to Thomas Jefferson, though, things get ugly. The nastiness of party politics becomes intractable - and Jefferson was a natural at hardball politics.

Both Jefferson and Madison were Virginians first, which heavily influenced their politics. Jefferson, the idealist and philosopher, is quite frequently seen as a walking contradiction. His lofty ideals and eloquent way with words had a way of swaying opinion. His fear of monarchial tendencies in government drove his policies, and he sought to maintain states rights and limit the power of the federal government (even while, as president, he greatly enlarged federal power). Madison, credited as the "Father of the Constitution" for his monumental efforts in 1787, is seen wrongly as a continuation of the Jefferson presidency, and many assumed Jefferson was still pulling the strings. In spite of their close friendship, they frequently differed in opinions and the courses of action they took. And while Jefferson appears as cordial and pleasant, Madison is portrayed unfairly as cold and unemotional. And Burstein and Isenberg do a good job of highlighting the important role played by Madison in the history both had such a huge role in.

This is a lengthy book with the narrative being almost 650 pages long, with dense writing that requires careful attention. As such, it's probably directed at serious readers of history rather than casual ones. The focus is mostly on politics, although there's enough information on their personal lives to give it a good balance. With two authors it sometimes feels a little uneven, although the book doesn't suffer for it. The ending, however, seemed almost disconnected and I vaguely suspected the authors of inserting some of their own personal present-day politics into the story. But even this doesn't take away from the terrific work they've compiled, and in spite of the length and depth it kept my interest throughout. ( )
  J.Green | Aug 26, 2014 |
The lives of two of the Virginia dynasty presidents are examined in tandem, revealing a unique double portrait of their personalities, thinking, and political approaches as legislators, administrators, and Chief Executives. Their story is a duet in the mold of "great minds think alike." Only their thinking procesesses were very different, but their vision and strategy for accomplishing that vision were aligned.

Both men were complex, though Jefferson was filled with more internal contradictions; both men found great happiness in their marriages, though Jefferson was widowed after 10 years of marriage and never remarried and Madison married Dolley late in life; both men valued and promoted public education and distribution of wealth, largely through land reform and they worked in tandem to shape Virginia and America according to their values.

In fact, Burstein and Isenberg do a service to the student of history in emphasizing that the primary reason Virginia Colony was such a proponent of independence from Britain was due to it's land-grabbing ambitions in the West. Individually both Madison and Jefferson were land speculators, as were most of their Virgina friends (including Washington and Monroe). They recognized that in the post-Revolutionary War era such speculation, if allowed to continue unchecked and unregulated, would promote a concentration of wealth to the already elite class (to which they belonged) and would threaten national unity as well as democratic reform. Thus, they set about to pass land reform legislation. This led to their mutual vision of a process for peaceful separation of smaller states from what had been the mega-colonies and entry into the United States as independent states.

We are lucky that despite two hundred plus years separating our time from theirs, that these men wrote to each other, and everyone else. Without their personal papers, insight into how they thought, what their emotional make-up was, and how they plotted their political moves would be absent and we wouldn't have such a revealing dual biography as we do in this one.

I pity future historians in this age of phones, texts, Tweets, and e-mails. None of those methods of communication provide records of the kind that open a window to a soul; our present may produce a history that is all data and no information, in spite of the name of our Age. ( )
  Limelite | Mar 17, 2014 |
This book exposes and explores what could easily be considered one of the most important political friendships in all of American history. 'Madison and Jefferson' does a splendid job of showing how these two gentlemen worked closely together throughout the beginnings of the United States, from the revolutionary days to the War of 1812.

To start with, the title of the book intentionally lists Madison first and throughout the book does much to bring to light this often misunderstood founder who many think of as uninteresting. Nothing could be further from the truth. The authors show that Madison did indeed have a rather interesting personality that is often ignored. But, the authors spend equal time on Jefferson, discussing the often touted intellect as well as his less talked about weaknesses. The friendship between these two is almost unbreakable throughout their history, but it is not without disagreements between the two.

The narrative that goes through the timeline of Madison and Jefferson is very engaging; at no point was I ever bored with it as can sometimes be the case with more dryly written biographies. And because the book is split up into very distinct periods, it was easy to pick back up if I had to put it down for a while.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who studies or has an interest in the founding of our nation, particularly these two individuals. You'll also find plenty of information about other founding fathers and the perspective that Madison and Jefferson held on them; I think I found this to be the most interesting part of this dual biography. ( )
2 stem speljamr | Dec 16, 2012 |
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The third and fourth presidents have long been considered proper and noble gentlemen, with Thomas Jefferson's genius overshadowing James Madison's judgment and common sense. But in this revelatory book, both leaders are seen as men of their times, ruthless and hardboiled operatives in a gritty world of primal politics where they struggled for supremacy for more than fifty years.

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