James Madison is known as the Father of the Constitution—attending and recording every session of the Constitutional Convention; leading the fight for ratification in his native Virginia; co-authoring the Federalist Papers, and shepherding the Bill of Rights through the First Congress. But he was also the Father of Politics. He founded the first political party, ancestor of today’s Democrats. He pioneered partisan journalism and the study of popular opinion. He belonged to the first political machine, the Virginia Dynasty, and married the first political wife, the lovely and charming Dolley Madison. Political theorist and wily pol—America is doubly in his debt.