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markk

Monroe overload

James Monroe: The Quest For National Identity - Harry Ammon

Though published over forty years ago, it is easy to see at a glance why Ammon's biography of James Monroe has never been bettered. This is an exhaustive examination of the political life of our fifth president -- and an exhausting one. Ammon goes through Monroe's life with a thoroughness that makes this a book an excellent source of information about Monroe, but at the price of making it an excruciatingly dull read at times. If you want to know everything there is to know about Monroe's political career or about diplomacy in the Federalist Era, then this is your book; otherwise, I would recommend either Noble Cunningham's The Presidency of James Monroe or Gary Hart's short biography of James Monroe in the "American Presidents" series.