James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights

Paperback | May 29, 2008

byRichard Labunski

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Today we hold the Constitution in such high regard that we can hardly imagine how hotly contested was its adoption. Now Richard Labunski offers a dramatic account of a time when the entire American experiment hung in the balance, only to be saved by the most unlikely of heroes--the diminutiveand exceedingly shy James Madison. Here is a vividly written account of not one but several major political struggles which changed the course of American history. Labunski takes us inside the sweltering converted theater in Richmond, where for three grueling weeks, the soft-spoken Madison and the charismatic Patrick Henryfought over whether Virginia should ratify the Constitution. Madison won the day by a handful of votes, mollifying Anti-Federalist fears by promising to add a bill of rights to the Constitution. To do this, Madison would have to win a seat in the First Congress, which he did by a tiny margin,allowing him to attend the First Congress and sponsor the Bill of Rights. Packed with colorful details about life in early America, this compelling and important narrative is the first serious book about Madison written in many years. It will return this under-appreciated patriot to his rightful place among the Founding Fathers and shed new light on a key turningpoint in our nation's history. "This is a hair-raising book. It shows how, at stage after stage, the fight to draft and ratify the Constitution, to draft and pass the Bill of Rights, could have failed. It proves again that the tiny Madison was a giant." --Garry Wills "Madison's intellect, the most acute among the Founders, is widely recognized. His political grit is much less so. The toughness of this canny man gets due recognition in Richard Labunski's riveting account of the hard-fought and narrowly-won battle for the underpinnings of Americans' liberties." --George F. Will

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Today we hold the Constitution in such high regard that we can hardly imagine how hotly contested was its adoption. Now Richard Labunski offers a dramatic account of a time when the entire American experiment hung in the balance, only to be saved by the most unlikely of heroes--the diminutiveand exceedingly shy James Madison. He...

Richard Labunski is a professor in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications at the University of Kentucky. The author of four other books, he previously taught at the University of Washington and Penn State and worked for ten years in radio and television news.

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Hardcover|Dec 1 1981

$83.52 online$94.95list price(save 12%)
Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 5.98 × 9.21 × 1.1 inPublished:May 29, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195341422

ISBN - 13:9780195341423

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"This book benefits from the hitherto widely scattered and unavailable contemporary manuscript and printed documents recently published in documentary histories.... Withal this portrait in ten essays is learned, succint, and judicious."--Paul K. Longmore, The Journal of SouthernHistory"