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NRO readers presumably don’t need any help knowing that the latest book by Richard Brookhiser, whatever it happens to be, is well worth their time. But having just finished the superb new biography of James Madison he published a few months ago, I have to offer a word of praise anyway.


Madison, like a lot of Brookhiser’s subjects, is someone about whom so much has been written that it’s hard to imagine a new biography being genuinely new. But by telling his story through the lens of an appreciation for (indeed a love of) politics, warts and all, Brookhiser manages to tell a fresh and powerful story. We’re used to Madison the political thinker, and this book conveys the power of his ideas of course, but what it does better than anything I’ve read on the father of the Constitution is tell the story of Madison the political actor. And it tells it in a highly readable, crisp, lean way that only a historian with utter confidence in his grasp of his subject could manage. If you haven’t read it yet, do.


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