James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights

ISBN-10: 0195341422

ISBN-13: 9780195341423

Edition: 2008

Authors: Richard 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 diminutive and 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 Henry fought 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 turning point 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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Book details

List price: $15.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 6/20/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 352
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.144
Language: English

Editor's Note
The Philadelphia Convention
The Reluctant Candidate
The Road to Richmond
The Virginia Ratifying Convention
The Ratification Vote
The Anti-Federalists Fight Back
The Election
Madison Introduces the Bill of Rights
Congress Proposes the Bill of Rights
Ratification of the Bill of Rights
James Madison's Proposed Amendments (June 8, 1789)
Amendments Reported by the House Select Committee (July 28, 1789)
Amendments Passed by the House of Representatives (August 24, 1789)
Amendments Passed by the Senate (September 9, 1789)
Amendments Proposed by Congress to the States (September 25, 1789)
Abbreviations and Frequently Cited Sources
About the Author
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