Suggested Reading


James Madison: A Biography by Ralph Ketcham      

“Madison's personality comes alive in these pages, his strengths and weaknesses of mind and character clearly outlined. His great services in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 are graphically portrayed. The analysis of his political theory, and of the way in which he sought to apply it to the establishment of government under the Constitution, is excellent. The depiction of Jeffersonian and Madisonian foreign policy up to the outbreak of the War of 1812 is clear and succinct. This is an excellent biography.” 

—American Historical Review

A Perfect Union: Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American Nation by Catherine Allgor      

Acclaimed historian Catherine Allgor reveals how Dolley Madison manipulated the constraints of her gender to construct an American democratic ruling style and to achieve her husband’s political goals. By emphasizing cooperation over coercion—building bridges instead of bunkers—she left us with not only an important story about our past but a model for a modern form of politics.

Building a Presidents House by Bryan Clark Green, Ann I. Miller, with Conover Hunt      

Follow the building of James and Dolley Madison's home from its initial construction to the changes Madison ordered during his first retirement and during his presidency.

Houses of the Founding Fathers by Hugh Howard       

When the Founding Fathers of America declared independence in Philadelphia in 1776, they changed the course of Western history. But the patriots—landowners, merchants, and professional men who hailed from towns, cities, and plantations scattered along the eastern seaboard—had private lives too, quite apart from the public deeds we know so well. In this breathtaking volume, historian Hugh Howard and photographer Roger Straus examine the everyday lives of the Founding Fathers. 



James Madison Imagined the
Constitution at Montpelier

...Imagine What You Can Do.