A group portrait of America's first four presidents from Virginia focuses on a series of key historical episodes that illustrate how the myriad leadership roles of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe promoted transcendental, if contradictory, national views about freedom and equality.
Bringing these men together as a group draws attention to how their thought and action unfolded in response to new challenges and dispels any illusion that they were a monolithic bloc. Cheney is an adept writer who makes no wrong steps. Perfect for history buffs, though little new ground is tread.
... accessible ... Though readers well-versed in the era won’t learn much new, Cheney selects anecdotes wisely and writes gracefully. The result is an informative introduction to four of America’s most important founding fathers.
... edifying ... general readers will learn plenty from the text. However, the author breaks no new ground for those already familiar with the history of her principals, and her account suffers from supposition and odd repetition ... A flawed yet informative history of the early years of the Republic.