The Jeffersonians: The Visionary Presidencies of Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe (Hardcover)

The Jeffersonians: The Visionary Presidencies of Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe By Kevin R. C. Gutzman Cover Image

The Jeffersonians: The Visionary Presidencies of Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe (Hardcover)

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“A long, insightful look at three Founder presidents. … Political histories are rarely page-turners, but Gutzman, clearly a scholar who has read everything on his subjects, writes lively prose and displays a refreshingly opinionated eye for a huge cast of characters and their often unfortunate actions. Outstanding historical writing.” — Kirkus (starred review)

A lively and essential chronicle of the only consecutive trio of two-term presidencies of the same political party in American history, from the bestselling author of Thomas Jefferson - Revolutionary and James Madison.


Before the consecutive two-term administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, there had only been one other trio of its type: Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe.

Kevin R. C. Gutzman’s The Jeffersonians is a complete chronicle of the men, known as The Virginia Dynasty, who served as president from 1801 to 1825 and implemented the foreign policy, domestic, and constitutional agenda of the radical wing of the American Revolution, setting guideposts for later American liberals to follow.

The three close political allies were tightly related: Jefferson and Madison were the closest of friends, and Monroe was Jefferson’s former law student. Their achievements were many, including the founding of the opposition Republican Party in the 1790s; the Louisiana Purchase; and the call upon Congress in 1806 to use its constitutional power to ban slave imports beginning on January 1, 1808.

Of course, not everything the Virginia Dynasty undertook was a success: Its chief failure might have been the ineptly planned and led War of 1812. In general, however, when Monroe rode off into the sunset in 1825, his passing and the end of The Virginia Dynasty were much lamented. Kevin R. C. Gutzman’s new book details a time in America when three Presidents worked toward common goals to strengthen our Republic in a way we rarely see in American politics today.

Kevin R.C. Gutzman is Professor of History at Western Connecticut State University and a faculty member at LibertyClassroom.com. He has his law degree from the University of Texas Law School and his Ph.D. in American history from the University of Virginia. His books include Thomas Jefferson - Revolutionary; James Madison and the Making of America; Virginia’s American Revolution; and, with Thomas Woods, Who Killed the Constitution?
Product Details ISBN: 9781250135452
ISBN-10: 1250135451
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: December 13th, 2022
Pages: 608
Language: English

“A long, insightful look at three Founder presidents. … Political histories are rarely page-turners, but Gutzman, clearly a scholar who has read everything on his subjects, writes lively prose and displays a refreshingly opinionated eye for a huge cast of characters and their often unfortunate actions. Outstanding historical writing.” — Kirkus (starred review)

“[Kevin Gutzman] has an eye for detail and a firm grasp of his period.” —The Wall Street Journal

“Though a conservative historian, Gutzman tries to thread the various needles of contemporary conscience, never excusing the slave-owning Southerners, but aware of the risks of judging the ideas of the eighteenth century by the standards of the twenty-first.” —Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker

“Well-informed … Gutzman draws sharp profiles of the era’s leading politicians and military figures” —Publishers Weekly

“…an expansive yet highly detailed account of exactly how this trio of Virginians governed the nation and the legacy of republicanism they left behind…One of the great virtues of Gutzman’s The Jeffersonians is that he generously quotes his subjects, allowing them to speak for themselves. We would do well to listen to them.” –The Federalist

“With The Jeffersonians, Kevin Gutzman has written a rare and welcome kind of book, one that will satisfy academic historians (insofar as academics can be satisfied), whom he engages across several highly salient scholarly questions. … this excellent book will make a worthy addition to any early republic bookshelf and, hopefully, to many an undergraduate syllabus.” —Washington Free Beacon

“The fragmented story of the Early Republic gets pieced together in Kevin Gutzman's action-packed account. By recovering the shared vision of Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe, The Jeffersonians provides our most cohesive, coherent, and masterful narrative of politics in the first quarter of the nineteenth century.” —Robert M. S. McDonald, United States Military Academy at West Point, author of Confounding Father: Thomas Jefferson's Image in His Own Time

“With this book, one of our leading scholars of the talented Virginians who dominated the early American presidency has provided us an engrossing political history of the period, uniting the story of the Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe administrations into a single narrative account. Rich with detail, spiced with wit and shrewd insight, The Jeffersonians will hold interest for the political philosopher and the political junkie alike. But above all, it demonstrates that a persistent theme ran through the political vision of its protagonists: a suspicion of Federal overreach. That theme has lost none of its relevance for us today.” —Wilfred McClay, Victor Davis Hanson Chair in Classical History and Western Civilization, Hillsdale College

“The fragmented story of the Early Republic gets pieced together in Kevin Gutzman's action-packed account. By recovering the shared vision of Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe, The Jeffersonians provides our most cohesive, coherent, and masterful narrative of politics in the first quarter of the nineteenth century.” —Robert M. S. McDonald, United States Military Academy at West Point, author of Confounding Father: Thomas Jefferson's Image in His Own Time

"It is rare that political history can be both readable and essential, but Kevin Gutzman has somehow done it. By offering a view from the perspective of Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe, Gutzman's Jeffersonians invites readers to understand the accomplishments and failures of the most important and most dominant political coalition in American history." —Jeremy D. Bailey, author of Thomas Jefferson and Executive Power and James Madison and Constitutional Imperfection