100 books like James Madison

By James Madison,

Here are 100 books that James Madison fans have personally recommended if you like James Madison. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Selected Letters of Dolley Payne Madison

Jane Hampton Cook Author Of The Burning of the White House: James and Dolley Madison and the War of 1812

From my list on the War of 1812.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer of ten mostly historical nonfiction books, I tried to rely on the original writings of the people that I wrote about rather than third-hand accounts. What I love about reading people's own words is that letters allow you to see a person's humanity and their emotional reactions to their circumstances. I also love the cinematic qualities of the story of the burning of the White House. Both Dolley and James Madison went through an authentic, organic character change in the aftermath, much like characters in a movie. I also loved the revival of patriotism that took place in the aftermath, which is similar to the aftermath of  9/11.

Jane's book list on the War of 1812

Jane Hampton Cook Why did Jane love this book?

Because Dolley Madison didn't keep a diary, her letters are the best examples that we have of her personality. This social butterfly shows us how she slyly tried to set up a young woman to be romantically involved with her son. 

Yet for all of her Southern charm and pretension, Dolley had a steely side. After her first husband died, she wrote to her brother-in-law demanding the inheritance owed to her. After all, women couldn't easily get a job to support themselves. Her letters also show her pride in her parents for emancipating their slaves. Her most famous letter about saving George Washington's painting before the British military burned the White House reveals the chaos of this historic moment and the character of this woman who became known as the first, first lady.

By Dolley Madison,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Selected Letters of Dolley Payne Madison as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From modest Quaker beginnings as the child of financially insecure parents and the wife of a stolid young lawyer to the excitement and challenges of life as the nation's first First Lady - arguably the most influential role in the American government's formative years - Dolley Payne Todd Madison (1768-1849) led an extraordinary life. David B. Mattern and Holly C. Shulman have culled a particularly rich selection of her letters to illuminate the story of the woman widely credited with setting the standard for successive generations of Washington's political women. This collection will prove an invaluable resource in current political…


Book cover of A Colored Man's Reminiscences of James Madison

Jane Hampton Cook Author Of The Burning of the White House: James and Dolley Madison and the War of 1812

From my list on the War of 1812.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer of ten mostly historical nonfiction books, I tried to rely on the original writings of the people that I wrote about rather than third-hand accounts. What I love about reading people's own words is that letters allow you to see a person's humanity and their emotional reactions to their circumstances. I also love the cinematic qualities of the story of the burning of the White House. Both Dolley and James Madison went through an authentic, organic character change in the aftermath, much like characters in a movie. I also loved the revival of patriotism that took place in the aftermath, which is similar to the aftermath of  9/11.

Jane's book list on the War of 1812

Jane Hampton Cook Why did Jane love this book?

Paul Jennings' memoirs are a vital voice to understanding this historical epoch. On August 24, 1814, he was present when Dolley Madison ordered the painting of George Washington to be taken off the wall before evacuating the White House. Jennings was also the last person out of the White House before the British military arrived. Were it not for Jennings, we would not know that an innkeeper cursed Dolley Madison and kicked her out of her hotel because she was angry that her husband had been fighting prior to the burning of the White House. His reminiscences of life as a slave and a free person show his character, honor, and determination.

By Paul Jennings,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Colored Man's Reminiscences of James Madison as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.

Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. To ensure a quality reading experience, this work has been…


Book cover of The Life and Correspondence of Rufus King; Comprising His Letters, Private and Official, His Public Documents, and His Speeches Volume 5

Jane Hampton Cook Author Of The Burning of the White House: James and Dolley Madison and the War of 1812

From my list on the War of 1812.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer of ten mostly historical nonfiction books, I tried to rely on the original writings of the people that I wrote about rather than third-hand accounts. What I love about reading people's own words is that letters allow you to see a person's humanity and their emotional reactions to their circumstances. I also love the cinematic qualities of the story of the burning of the White House. Both Dolley and James Madison went through an authentic, organic character change in the aftermath, much like characters in a movie. I also loved the revival of patriotism that took place in the aftermath, which is similar to the aftermath of  9/11.

Jane's book list on the War of 1812

Jane Hampton Cook Why did Jane love this book?

Senator Rufus King played the role of disrupter on Capitol Hill during James Madison's presidency. Once united in the public relations campaign to convince the states to ratify the U.S. Constitution, King and Madison became rivals when King ran as the vice-presidential candidate on the ticket against President Madison in the 1808 presidential campaign. That rivalry took a conspiratorial turn in 1813 and 1814. Thanks to King's letters, we now know that General Armstrong was speaking covertly to Senator King against President Madison while serving in Madison's cabinet. Both New Yorkers with their eye on the presidency, their mutual ambition was to ensure that no Virginian, especially Secretary of State James Monroe, won the presidency in 1816. Their failure shows why most Americans do not know the name of Rufus King.

By Rufus King,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Life and Correspondence of Rufus King; Comprising His Letters, Private and Official, His Public Documents, and His Speeches Volume 5 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Unlike some other reproductions of classic texts (1) We have not used OCR(Optical Character Recognition), as this leads to bad quality books with introduced typos. (2) In books where there are images such as portraits, maps, sketches etc We have endeavoured to keep the quality of these images, so they represent accurately the original artefact. Although occasionally there may be certain imperfections with these old texts, we feel they deserve to be made available for future generations to enjoy.


Book cover of Historical Sketch of the Second war Between the United States of America and Great Britain

Jane Hampton Cook Author Of The Burning of the White House: James and Dolley Madison and the War of 1812

From my list on the War of 1812.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer of ten mostly historical nonfiction books, I tried to rely on the original writings of the people that I wrote about rather than third-hand accounts. What I love about reading people's own words is that letters allow you to see a person's humanity and their emotional reactions to their circumstances. I also love the cinematic qualities of the story of the burning of the White House. Both Dolley and James Madison went through an authentic, organic character change in the aftermath, much like characters in a movie. I also loved the revival of patriotism that took place in the aftermath, which is similar to the aftermath of  9/11.

Jane's book list on the War of 1812

Jane Hampton Cook Why did Jane love this book?

A congressman during the War of 1812, Charles Ingersoll took on the role of journalist and historian in the years that followed. He interviewed key players during the lead-up and aftermath of the burning of the White House. Though his sketch is dense, he provides some of the most important details not covered in other accounts from the era. Ingersoll also provides some of the most inspirational, cinematic quotes coming out of the burning of the U.S. Capitol. 

"The smoldering fires of the Capitol were spices of the phoenix bed, from which a rose offspring more vigorous, beautiful and long-lived," Ingersoll wrote. "The immediate and enthusiastic effect of the fall of Washington was electric revival of national spirit and universal energy."

By Charles Jared Ingersoll,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Historical Sketch of the Second war Between the United States of America and Great Britain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

About the Book

Military history texts discuss the historical record of armed conflict in the history of humanity, its impact on people, societies, and their cultures. Some fundamental subjects of military history study are the causes of war, its social and cultural foundations, military doctrines, logistics, leadership, technology, strategy, and tactics used, and how these have developed over time. Thematic divisions of military history may include: Ancient warfare, Medieval warfare, Gunpowder warfare, Industrial warfare, and Modern warfare. About us

Leopold Classic Library has the goal of making available to readers the classic books that have been out of print for…


Book cover of Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815

Michael Barone Author Of Mental Maps of the Founders: How Geographic Imagination Guided America's Revolutionary Leaders

From my list on the struggles of the early America republic.

Why am I passionate about this?

My friend Lou Cannon, the great reporter and Reagan biographer, once told me, “if you want to really learn about a subject, write a book about it.” As a political journalist and author of several books about current and past politics,  wanted to learn more about the Founding Fathers, and as a map buff I tried to understand how they understood a continent most of which was not accurately mapped and how they envisioned the geographic limits and reach of a new republic more extensive in size than most nations in Europe. The book is my attempt to share what I learned with readers, and to invite them to read more about these extraordinary leaders.

Michael's book list on the struggles of the early America republic

Michael Barone Why did Michael love this book?

Gordon Wood is one of the giants of a generation of historians of the Revolution and the early Republic.

This book covers the 1790s and the years of the nineteenth century up through the War of 1812. Both Federalists and Jeffersonians faced the task of navigating the young republic through the turbulent waters of a world war between revolutionary France, America’s Revolutionary War ally, and mercantile Britain, its chief trading partner, that lasted with only short intervals between 1793 and 1815.

Wood leans somewhat to the Jeffersonians, who were more in line (in his view and, as I was reading him, mine) with most Americans who became less deferential and hierarchical during and immediately after the Revolution.

By Gordon S. Wood,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Empire of Liberty as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Oxford History of the United States is by far the most respected multi-volume history of the USA. The series includes three Pulitzer Prize winners, two New York Times bestsellers, and winners of the Bancroft and Parkman Prizes. Now, in the newest volume in the series, one of America's most esteemed historians, Gordon S. Wood, offers a brilliant account of the early American Republic, ranging from 1789 and the beginning of the national government to the
end of the War of 1812.
As Wood reveals, the period was marked by tumultuous change in all aspects of American life-in politics, society,…


Book cover of A Perfect Union: Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American Nation

Cassandra Good Author Of First Family: George Washington's Heirs and the Making of America

From my list on the fascinating families of America’s founders.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I loved reading books about time travel, and now as a historian, I do a sort of time travel for my job. I have always been especially drawn to reading women’s correspondence, particularly when the women involved were pushing against gender roles and finding ways to access political power. I approach doing history as if it’s an ethnography of a group of people with entirely different beliefs, norms, and even emotions from us today; after all, the past is a foreign country. I’m especially intrigued by uncovering how personal relationships worked in the past and how relationships with political figures allowed family and friends to access power.

Cassandra's book list on the fascinating families of America’s founders

Cassandra Good Why did Cassandra love this book?

Allgor is an expert on women’s important role in building political society in the founding era, and in this compelling biography, she places Dolley Madison at the center of that story.

Indeed, Madison lived in the nation’s capital until 1849, giving her a decades-long career as a prominent figure in society and political operative. James Madison’s presidency was truly a partnership with his wife, as her charismatic sociability complemented his quiet, reserved demeanor. 

By Catherine Allgor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Perfect Union as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An extraordinary American comes to life in this vivid, groundbreaking portrait of the early days of the republic--and the birth of modern politics

When the roar of the Revolution had finally died down, a new generation of American politicians was summoned to the Potomac to assemble the nation's newly minted capital. Into that unsteady atmosphere, which would soon enough erupt into another conflict with Britain in 1812, Dolley Madison arrived, alongside her husband, James. Within a few years, she had mastered both the social and political intricacies of the city, and by her death in 1849 was the most celebrated…


Book cover of The Human Rights Dictatorship: Socialism, Global Solidarity and Revolution in East Germany

Lorenz M. Lüthi Author Of Cold Wars: Asia, the Middle East, Europe

From my list on Cold War history published recently.

Why am I passionate about this?

During the later Cold War, I grew up in neutral and peaceful Switzerland. My German mother’s family lived apart in divided Germany. I knew as a child that I would become a historian because I wanted to find out what had happened to my mother’s home and why there was a Cold War in the first place. My father’s service as a Swiss Red Cross delegate in Korea after 1953 raised my interest in East Asia. After learning Russian and Chinese, I wrote my first book on The Sino-Soviet Split. When I was finishing the book, I resolved to reinvent myself as a global historian, which is why I wrote my second book as a reinterpretation of the global Cold War as a series of parallel regional Cold Wars in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.

Lorenz's book list on Cold War history published recently

Lorenz M. Lüthi Why did Lorenz love this book?

Ned Richardson-Little explores the mostly forgotten history of the human rights discourse in a Communist dictatorship. Believe it or not, East Germany tried to pose as a promoter of human rights in international and domestic affairs. It spent much effort and many resources on constructing an alternative to Western-dominated human rights debates. Even if Communist Germany disappeared in 1989/90, its warped human rights discourse beforehand had exerted a major influence on dissidents and their increasing opposition to the authoritarian police state in which they were living.

By Ned Richardson-Little,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Human Rights Dictatorship as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Richardson-Little exposes the forgotten history of human rights in the German Democratic Republic, placing the history of the Cold War, Eastern European dissidents and the revolutions of 1989 in a new light. By demonstrating how even a communist dictatorship could imagine itself to be a champion of human rights, this book challenges popular narratives on the fall of the Berlin Wall and illustrates how notions of human rights evolved in the Cold War as they were re-imagined in East Germany by both dissidents and state officials. Ultimately, the fight for human rights in East Germany was part of a global…


Book cover of The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War

Wyman Wicket Author Of 23 Skiddoo: Way Back Beyond Across the Stars

From my list on magical realism for metapolitical non-fiction fans.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a free man of flesh-and-blood I trust in time-tested verities and traditions; as a spiritual entity I am a man of faith; and as a thinking being I explore in my writing the malleability of consciousness and reality. Through a broad range of experiences I offer images for the minds of readers in novels of a twisted magical realism. I seek the mysteries of God, the beauty of poetry, and the freedom to explore all and everything. I am an American State National who critiques modern society, culture, and politics as an independent scholar who will not be silenced. Awaken, oh human beans, from normative conditioning and screen-gazing complacency!

Wyman's book list on magical realism for metapolitical non-fiction fans

Wyman Wicket Why did Wyman love this book?

Mass formation psychosis causes people to lose contact with reality. Case-in-point: the apotheosis of Abraham Lincoln. The author presents a cogent case against the 16th president’s policies of “internal improvements,” high tariffs, and a national central bank (the failed and rejected Hamiltonian policies of the Whig party and Henry Clay). Lincoln insisted upon instituting mercantilism—a strong central government that dispenses special privileges to wealthy and influential corporations, who then support the central government, contravening the Constitution. In a reality stranger than fiction, he killed an estimated 620,000-750,000 Americans in a war upon the Southern states and their right to secede against tariff tyranny; disabled the sovereignty of the states; and did away with habeas corpus by arresting any who objected to his policies, setting precedents that have gutted an intimidated America ever since.

By Thomas J. Dilorenzo,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Real Lincoln as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War

Most Americans consider Abraham Lincoln to be the greatest president in history. His legend as the Great Emancipator has grown to mythic proportions as hundreds of books, a national holiday, and a monument in Washington, D.C., extol his heroism and martyrdom. But what if most everything you knew about Lincoln were false? What if, instead of an American hero who sought to free the slaves, Lincoln were in fact a calculating politician who waged the bloodiest war in american history in order to build an empire that rivaled…


Book cover of Democracy in America

Peter Laufer Author Of Up Against the Wall: The Case for Opening the Mexican-American Border

From my list on the middle of america from New Jersey to Oakland.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I moved with my family. I've moved for school. And I am not sure I could resurrect how many times my family moved for my journalism work. These books help me try to understand my wanderlust. Peter Laufer is an independent journalist, broadcaster, and documentary filmmaker working in traditional and new media. He is the James Wallace Chair in Journalism at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication.

Peter's book list on the middle of america from New Jersey to Oakland

Peter Laufer Why did Peter love this book?

And no such list is complete without Alexis de Tocqueville's classic from the 19th century, Democracy in America. Weighing in just two pages short of Don Quixote's 937 (paperback both, the ECCO Grossman Quixote translation and the Penguin Gerald Bevan de Tocqueville edition), Tocqueville ponders a question most of us contemplate and plenty of us act on: "Why Americans are so restless in the midst of their prosperity..."

By Alexis de Tocqueville,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Democracy in America as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

French nobleman Alexis de Tocqueville's classic treatise on the American way of life.

Over 175 years ago, Alexis de Tocqueville, an astute political scientist, came to the United States to evaluate the meaning and actual functioning of democracy. Here, Tocqueville discusses the advantages and dangers of majority rule—which he thought could be as tyrannical as the rule of a monarchy. He analyzes the influence of political parties and the press on the government and the effect of equality on the social, political, and economic life of the American people. He also offers some startling predictions about world politics, which history…


Book cover of The Rope

Emma Sky Author Of The Unraveling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq

From my list on what the Iraq War was like for Iraqis.

Why am I passionate about this?

I served in Iraq as Governorate Co-ordinator of Kirkuk for the Coalition Provisional Authority, 2003-2004; and as advisor to the Commanding General of US Forces in Iraq from 2007-2010. I retain a deep love of the country and am a regular visitor. I teach about the Middle East and Global Affairs at Yale University. 

Emma's book list on what the Iraq War was like for Iraqis

Emma Sky Why did Emma love this book?

Kanan is an Iraqi exile who was very supportive of the US invasion of Iraq. In The Rope, he provides a fictional account of what happened in the country, placing responsibility for the rise of sectarianism and the descent into civil war at the feet of Iraqi Shia leaders. It’s a brave and honest book. 

By Kanan Makiya,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Rope as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the best-selling author of Republic of Fear, here is a gritty and unflinching novel about Iraqi failure in the wake of the 2003 American invasion, as seen through the eyes of a Shi‘ite militiaman whose participation in the execution of Saddam Hussein changes his life in ways he could never have anticipated.
 
When the nameless narrator stumbles upon a corpse on April 10, 2003, the day of the fall of Saddam Hussein, he finds himself swept up in the tumultuous politics of the American occupation and is taken on a journey that concludes with the discovery of what happened…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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