Madison is a hard guy to write about, at least it's hard to write about his presidency.
Everyone knows Madison as one of the founding fathers, he was responsible for the bill of rights, much of the wording of the constitution and worked with Hamilton and Jay on the Federalist papers to support the passage of the constitution.
But when it comes to him as an executive, he's harder to write about. Maybe it's because he wasn't as much an ideologue as the previous administrations, maybe it's because he didn't have an identifiable plan when he came into office or tried to do too much, but whatever it was, I can't define him in one sentence.
Washington was the father of the country and set about to form the idea of America, Adams tried to put in place checks and balances and help build up national power while preserving the uneasy peace with Europe, Jefferson was a 'man of western waters' and wanted to increase the land holdings of the U.S. to make his agrarian, democratic dream possible. Even Monroe who came after him you could say was the National Security President and Jackson was the Populist President.
This does not mean he was a bad president, if anything, maybe he was less image and legacy conscious than the other presidents, or maybe he felt his legacy was already secure as a Founding Father.
After reading this book about Madison, I feel like I just watched a really good movie and someone asks me what it was about, but I can't explain it.