This sixth volume in a noted and monumental work on Madison tells of his days in the White House during the War of 1812, and of the long years of retirement in the South which followed the successful conclusion of that struggle. If anything, the book excels as a history of the War as much as it does as a portrait of the chief executive. Britain's iniquities at sea, the reluctances of certain American merchants to stop doing business with the Crown, and the building of America's first real Navy, are recounted adroitly and with constant reference to how Madison looked on or dealt with these problems. The stories intertwine throughout the conflict---some showing Madison's fight for Congressional support, others recounting the famous fights at sea (Constitution beats Guerriere), the Great Lakes battles, and the burning of Washington. The later years on a plantation, the talks with Jefferson concerning slavery, and the editing of the Federalist Papers, provide an historically interesting conclusion. Well-researched, full of a sense of the man and his times.