In Robert A. Rutland's James Madison and the American Nation, eighty-eight scholars from a variety of backgrounds (including such heavy hitters as Banning, McCoy, Rakove, Rutland, and Merrill D. Peterson) contribute 400 short entries that describe the people, events, and subjects that made up Madison's life. Each entry includes a brief bibliography (and occasional cross-references), and the text is fully outfitted with illustrations. One wonders, however, whether high school students truly "need" an encyclopedia to introduce them to Madison and his world. One wonders, too, whether scholars need another reference tool to search out elusive aspects of Madison's life. Without purpose, the Madison encyclopedia lies listless, despite Rutland's evident enthusiasm for subject and project.
Jacob Katz Cogan, Book Review, 53 Wm. & Mary Q. 675 (1996) (reviewing James Madison and the American Nation, 1751-1836).