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November 20 , 2010


James Madison's Search for a More Perfect Union


"This lively and entertaining book begins a much-needed conversation about the modern history that our Founders knew so well and which our generation has largely forgotten." – Dr. Lynn Uzzell, Resident Scholar at Montpelier

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“In this age of Google and Wikipedia, it is understandable that most see history as a pile of facts . . . VanDuren serves up a richer feast. He paints the history of modern democracy as a vast tableau that wanders from its origin in Europe to the United States. VanDuren shows that many of the earliest intellectual and political movers and achievements in this drama are Dutch.” – Joe A. Oppenheimer, Prof. Emeritus, Government and Politics, University of Maryland

“Those who care about the future of democracy will appreciate Mr. VanDuren’s vigorous and rigorous examination of the way Dutch and English influences worked from the European Middle Ages down through New England, New Amsterdam, and New York to the Federalist Papers and the American Constitution in the late 1780s.”  John C. Kemp, Plimoth Plantation.

Have you ever wondered why we practice separation of church and state? Or have secular marriage, or freedom of religion? Or enjoy democracy and the rule of law? And equality under the law? No taxation without representation? As Americans we hold the concepts dear. Our republic was founded on them and we find them in our Constitution, of which James Madison was the main author.
Madison’s vast knowledge of history was supported by a keen understanding of human nature. Alone in his library, he studied ancient and contemporary nations, foremost the Dutch Republic. The American confederation was modeled on it and both suffered from its shortcomings.
The people in whose footsteps he followed are the subject of this book. Theirs are the “Many Heads and Many Hands” that helped and inspired Madison in his search for a “more perfect union.”
From a cave in South Africa to the Roman Rhine, into Dark-Ages Paris, through the Burgundian lands to the marshes of Holland, and via the fields of England to the shores of America, this is a titanic story of scholars, pastors, princesses, and generals, and of common people too, striving over the centuries for security and freedom, and at last building a government that can promise them both, within the confines of a just law.

About the Author

Born in the Netherlands, Mau grew up in a family of doctors, accountants, artists and musicians; pillars of society and freebooters. He earned his degree in electrical engineering in Utrecht, but found people more interesting. During his many years in international consulting as an information specialist he endeavored to serve the human element in projects as diverse as technical education, institution building, and land reform. Back in the U.S. he engaged in community service, was president of the board of the Takoma Theater, and still participates in a number of local, state and national political campaigns. Mau and his wife Jackie found refuge near Parksley, Virginia.





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