About the Book

Dolley Madison

Dolley Madison

The Problem of National Unity
September 2012
Trade Paperback · 192 Pages
$20.00 U.S. · $23.00 CAN · £13.99 U.K. · €14.99 E.U.
ISBN 9780813347592
Westview Press
Lives of American Women


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First Lady of the United States and America's "Queen of Hearts," Dolley Madison fashioned an unofficial role for herself in the new administration of the United States, helping to answer the nation's need for ceremony and leaving footprints for centuries of presidential wives to follow. Assisting her husband, James Madison, she helped to promote national unity, modeling a political behavior that stressed civility and empathy. Together, their approach fueled bipartisanship in a country still assembling a political identity.

About the Lives of American Women series:
Selected and edited by renowned women’s historian Carol Berkin, these brief biographies are designed for use in undergraduate courses. Rather than a comprehensive approach, each biography focuses instead on a particular aspect of a women’s life that is emblematic of her time, or which made her a pivotal figure in the era. The emphasis is on a "good read," featuring accessible writing and compelling narratives, without sacrificing sound scholarship and academic integrity. Primary sources at the end of each biography reveal the subject’s perspective in her own words. Study questions and an annotated bibliography support the student reader.

About the Author

Catherine Allgor is a professor of history at UC Riverside where she holds the prestigious UC Presidential Chair. She earned her PhD from Yale in 1998, where she also won the Yale Teaching Award. Her dissertation won prizes, including the best dissertation in U.S. Women's history in the country. Her book Parlor Politics: In Which the Ladies of Washington Help Build a City and a Government won the prize for the best first book by the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. Her book, A Perfect Union: Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American Nation, was published in 2006 and was a finalist for the George Washington Prize. In 2012, Allgor was awarded a presidential appointment to the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation. She is a popular speaker and consultant and has worked with many museums and institutions, including the White House. Series Editor Carol Berkin is a well-known women’s historian and the author of many popular and scholarly books, including Civil War Wives. She is Professor of History Emerita at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and she is a member of the Society of American Historians.