Recommend biographies of Madison, Monroe, Hamilton, or Jay

I’ve read bios of many of the founding fathers, but have missed these 4 giants.

I know I could just google, but there are biographies, and then there are great biographies.

Can anyone recommend some good ones of James Madison, or James Monroe, or Alexander Hamilton, or John Jay?

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow is outstanding.


Another vote for Chernow’s bio of Hamilton. It really is very good. I learned not long ago that Chernow is now working on a bio of Washington, which I’m very much looking forward to.

There’s a bit about all four men in Joseph Ellis’s excellent and Pulitzer Prize-winning Founding Brothers, and also his more recent (and not quite as good) American Creation, but off the top of my head I don’t know of any stand-alone bios of the other three, although I’m sure they’re out there. Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick’s fine The Age of Federalism has short profiles of most of the Framers, too, and is definitely worth a read.

Thanks. I’ve read Founding Brothers; maybe I’ll look for The Age of Federalism.