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A Perfect Union

Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American Nation

Catherine Allgor; Read by Anne Twomey

Macmillan Audio

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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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.

  • Anne Twomey
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A Perfect Union

Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American Nation

Catherine Allgor; Read by Anne Twomey

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Macmillan Audio

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