In the days before microphones and TV interviews, getting people to listen to you was not an easy task. But James Madison used his quiet eloquence, intelligence and passion for unified colonies to help shape the Constitution, steer America through the turmoil of two wars, and ensure that our government, and nation, remained intact.
"An excellent, fascinating, indispensable resource." —Kirkus Reviews, pointer review
"The book is rich in the sort of detail that illuminates the man, but is not limited to personal information; a great deal of government history is woven into the biography." —Horn Book, starred review
"Fritz has given a vivid picture of the man and an equally vivid picture of the problems that faced the leaders of the new nation in the formative years." —The Bulletin of the Center for Children?s Books, starred review
"Young readers will feel like they know the 'Great Little Madison' very well." —School Library Journal
Fritz ( Shh! We're Writing the Constitution! ) here presents a brisk, highly accessible biography of James Madison. Sickly as a child, Madison was a short, frail man with a wispy, small voice. His successes in incorporating personal freedoms into a reasonably strong centralized government and his enormous appetite for work earned him the sobriquet ``great.'' Madison's shyness and difficulty with public speaking were drawbacks during the politician's early days in Virginia government--as was the enmity of a powerful Patrick Henry--but behind-the-scenes speaking effectiveness and voluminous, well-reasoned writings more than compensated. In her characteristic way of bringing history to life, Fritz writes in a highly engaging, entertaining manner, providing vivid descriptions of Madison's close friendship with Thomas Jefferson; his long and apparently happy marriage to Dolly; the infighting during the creation of the Constitution; the patience with which our fourth president dealt with an unreasonable England, leading to the war of 1812--and that war's defeats and victories. Ages 10-up.