A Perfect Union

Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American Nation

Catherine Allgor; Read by Anne Twomey

Macmillan Audio

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An extraordinary American comes to life in this vivid, incisive portrait of the early days of the republic—and the birth of modern politics hen 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 person in Washington. And yet, to most Americans, she’s best known for saving a portrait from the burning White House, or as the namesake for a line of ice cream.

Why did the Americans of her time give so much adulation to a lady so little known today? In A Perfect Union, Catherine Allgor reveals that while Dolley’s gender prevented her from openly playing politics, those very constraints of womanhood allowed her to construct an American democratic ruling style, and to achieve her husband’s political goals. And the way that she did so—by emphasizing cooperation over coercion, building bridges instead of bunkers—has left us with not only an important story about our past but a model for a modern form of politics.

Introducing a major new American historian, A Perfect Union is both an illuminating portrait of an unsung founder of our democracy, and a vivid account of a little-explored time in our history.

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A Perfect Union by Catherine Allgor--Audiobook Excerpt

Listen to this audiobook excerpt from Catherine Allgor's book A Perfect Union: Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American Nation. An extraordinary American comes to life in this vivid, incisive 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.

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Praise for A Perfect Union

"Where is Dolley Madison when we need her? Catherine Allgor makes clear that Mrs. Madison's skills as a hostess and politician held the country together when rabid partisanship threatened to tear it apart. This is a well-told biography of a true nineteenth-century celebrity, but a celebrity with substance, savvy and courage." -
—Cokie Roberts, author of Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation
 
“For some time Dolley Madison has been a beguiling ornament, flashing her femininity in the parlors of the early American republic. Here, at last, Catherine Allgor, with great style and wit, recovers a different Dolley, a full-fledged political partner with James Madison. Now, in addition to John and Abigail,
we have James and Dolley.”
—Joseph J. Ellis, author of His Excellency: George Washington

"A lively, clear-eyed account of a master politician. As first ‘Presidentess,’ Dolley Madison established herself among our earliest female celebrities and left an enduring mark on American culture. Hers is a rousing tale of ambition, gossip, and policy, told with empathy and understanding by Catherine Allgor. "—Stacy Schiff, author of A Great Improvisation

"Before Jackie Kennedy there was Dolley Madison - elegant, sophisticated and charismatic. Thanks to her inimitable style and determination, the nation's capital became more than just a swampy outpost where pigs and politicians freely roamed. In A Perfect Union Catherine Allgor reveals the warm and fascinating woman who dazzled Americans for more than three decades."
—Amanda Foreman, author of Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire


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About the Author

Catherine Allgor; Read by Anne Twomey

A professor of history at the University of California-Riverside, Catherine Allgor has received the George Washington Egleston Prize from Yale, the Lerner-Scott Prize from the Organization of American Historians, and the James H. Broussard First Book Prize from the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. She was awarded a Bunting Fellowship for her work on Dolley Madison. Allgor lives in Riverside, California.

Catherine Allgor
Anne Twomey

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Available Formats and Book Details

A Perfect Union
Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American Nation
Catherine Allgor; Read by Anne Twomey

Unabridged Digital Audio

Unabridged  Digital Audio
Macmillan Audio
April 2006
Unabridged Digital Audio
ISBN: 9781593979256
ISBN10: 1593979258
Audio Run Time: 16:00
$24.99

Abridged Digital Audio

Abridged  Digital Audio
Macmillan Audio
April 2006
Abridged Digital Audio
ISBN: 9781593979065
ISBN10: 1593979061
Audio Run Time: 7:00
$14.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Henry Holt and Co.
Holt Paperbacks
February 2007
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780805083002
ISBN10: 0805083006
5 11/16 x 8 15/16 inches, 512 pages, Includes printed endpapers and sixteen pages of black-and-white pictures
$17.99

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Henry Holt and Co.
April 2007
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429900003
ISBN10: 1429900008
512 pages
$9.99
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