WCSU professor’s book shares the big screen

‘Presidential’ selection: “James Madison” by Dr. Kevin Gutzman

DANBURY, CONN. — Getting a book published is a great endeavor. Getting it into the right hands quite another. But getting a published book in the right hands on prime-time television is the coup de grace.

Dr. Kevin Gutzman, a history professor at Western Connecticut State University, is no stranger to earning acclaim for his work, but this time there are lights, camera and action. It seems that his book, “James Madison and the Making of America,” has a recurring role on the Netflix television series “House of Cards” starring Kevin Spacey.

Spacey, now in the role of the U.S. President, appears quite interested in the book. As vice president in Season 1 of the show, Spacey, as Frank Underwood, walks around reading it and keeps it arm’s length from his desk in full view of the camera.

“People have offered various opinions about why my book was chosen,” Gutzman said. “One is that Spacey plays a former leader of the U.S. House of Representatives who hopes to become U.S. President and James Madison fits that description, too.”

Gutzman has earned an international reputation as a constitutional scholar unafraid of challenging popular assumptions about the origins and evolution of America’s founding document, and his biography of James Madison demands a fresh examination of the fourth president’s role in the nation’s birth.

The book offers a rich exploration of Madison’s legacy, from his emergence as a young Virginian delegate leading the successful campaign for the commonwealth’s landmark Statute for Religious Freedom to his lasting influence as Federalist Papers author, congressional leader and president in the shaping of the young nation’s political institutions.

Gutzman, who holds a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law, earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of Virginia. He has master’s degrees from both schools as well as a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Texas.

His teaching interests include the American Revolution, the Age of the Jefferson, Antebellum United States, Southern history and American Constitutional history. He is an expert in American history 1760-1877 with additional expertise in the Constitution and the South.

In addition to “James Madison,” published in 2012, Gutzman is the co-author of “Who Killed the Constitution? The Fate of American Liberty from World War I to Barak Obama,” “Virginia’s American Revolution: From Dominion to Republic, 1776-1840,” and “The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution.”

A historical consultant for three documentary CDs with numerous published scholarly articles, Gutzman has appeared numerous times on C-SPAN, Fox News and CNN.




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