OPINIONSnLittle Jimmy’s Last Hurrahnby Clyde Wilsonn”A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman, of the next generation.”n— James Freeman ClarkenThe Last of the Fathers:nJames Madison and thenRepublican Legacynby Drew R. McCoynCambridge and New York:nCambridge University Press;n386 pp., $29.95nJames Madison was not “The Fathernof the Constitution.” I know younwere probably taught that in school. Inmyself am guilty of having foisted thatnold truism of the history classroom offnon countless sullen but gullible undergraduates.nThat comes of my believingnwhat I was told, until firsthand investigationnand reflection taught me better.nClyde Wilson is a professor of historynat the University of South Carolinanand the editor of The Papers of JohnnC. Calhoun.n28/CHRONICLESnWhat Madison is the father of is everyntrimming and time-serving politiciannwho ever played the middle against bothnends, obscured the real issues withnverbiage, and bent the Constitution tonfit his own abstract conceptions of government.nAll of Madison’s prominence wasnowed to three factors — an over-facilenpen; his family connections and friendshipnwith Jefferson; and his stayingnpower (though he considered himselfntoo frail to take part in the War ofnIndependence in his 20’s, he lived to ben85, being the last surviving member ofnthe Philadelphia Convention and leavingnthe most extensive notes of thenproceedings of that closed-door affair).nFar from being the prominent membernof the Convention that he portrayednhimself to be, having pushed himself innby means of his father’s great holdingsnin one part of Virginia, he found hisnnnoverly grandiose and overly abstractnschemes swiftly shunted aside by morenexperienced and sensible men. (M.E.nBradford has given a good account ofnthis in “The Great Convention asnComic Action.”) His role in securingnratification in Virginia has often beennexaggerated, as has the influence, at thentime, of The Federalist Papers. (As ifnsuch men as General Washington andnJohn Marshall needed the help of litflenJimmy Madison in securing approvalnof the Constitution!)nHis election as President rested notnon any merit or popularity of his own,nbut simply on his friendship with Jefferson,nby which he managed by annarrow margin to win precedence overnMonroe, a far better man though notnas artful a dodger. Madison left thenPresidency having failed as an executive,nas a party leader, and as a nationalnsymbol. His large reputation in historyn