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American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House Hardcover – Deckle Edge, November 11, 2008
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Copyright 2009 Bookmarks Publishing LLC
As the editor of Newsweek, Jon Meacham has written about war, politics, religion, and race--topics he also examines in his bestselling books. Visit Amazon's Jon Meacham Page.
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Top Customer Reviews
Jackson was the first president who was not from the pre-Revolutionary elite and was the first to be voted into office by a newly expanded electorate. Meacham views Jackson as the first to see the president as representing the entirety of the people and as the equal of Congress, entitled to shape policy and legislation without the traditional deference to Congressional views. Jackson thought that the people shared his beliefs and that he was fighting for their interests in everything he did. This vision sustained Jackson as he relentlessly expanded the powers of the president. Meacham believes that Jackson was a master politician who happily allowed opponents to think that he was entirely a creature of emotion and passion while coolly outmaneuvering them politically.Read more ›
Most of us remember Andrew Jackson as a hero of the Battle of New Orleans, at the close of the war of 1812. But Jackson as president really changed the course of the executive. He was the first of what we might call today an "imperial president" (or at least his critics of the day would have called him that...or worse) but Jackson rejected the notion that Congress had the more powerful lock on government. The great issues of the 1820s and 1830s all found their way to Jackson's office. His main idea that "nation first" was everything served him well in his executive battles. Jackson fought for the elimination of the Bank of the United States and slew the mighty dragon running it, Nicholas Biddle. Nullification, a notion that states had the right to ignore federal laws if they saw fit, was championed by South Carolina's John C. Calhoun, at once Jackson's first vice-president and later a senator from that state. Indian removal was paramount in Jackson's mind and while he succeeded to a degree, it wasn't without much bloodshed, leaving a stain on his presidency. But the most fascinating part of the Jackson presidency was the impending strife of secession and the issue of slavery. We tend not to think about those two issues arising until a decade or more after Jackson left the White House, but they were primary concerns a generation before war broke out.Read more ›
Jon Meacham's Andrew Jackson is rough, brilliant, difficult, and all together human. Meacham's writing attempts to avoid deifying the man, but tries to give insightful glimpses into his character and presidency. Sometimes biographies like this get bogged down in too many details and the minute factoids that only the most ardent fans find remotely interesting. Meacham paints a bigger portrait than that. By focusing mainly on Jackson's time in the presidency, it frees him up for a more specific yet more encompassing vision of Jackson.
I admit that my basic content knowledge of Jackson is sorely lacking (well, compare to Lincoln, that is) but after reading Meacham's page-turner of a book, I must admit my appetite has been whetted by yet another interesting character in our history. I can see this making a great Christmas gift for the history buff or biography lover in your life!
Drawing upon a diverse and impressive array of sources, including letters in private hands for 175 years, Meacham (like Jackson a Tennessean) paints what he describes as "not a history of the Age of Jackson but a portrait of the man and of his complex relationships with the intimate circle that surrounded him as he transformed the presidency." Born in humble circumstances and orphaned by the age of 14, Jackson rose to the pinnacle of power amidst the rude environment of the American frontier. He killed a man in a duel and was a ruthless military leader, whose victory over the British at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815 catapulted him to national prominence. After winning a plurality of the popular vote and then losing the 1824 election to John Quincy Adams in the House of Representatives, Jackson captured a decisive 56 percent majority in 1828.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A good read. I learned a lot, but there was a lot more I wanted to hear about which didnt make the book or was barely touched upon.Published 4 days ago by Jeffrey Roberts
I learned so much from this book. It is THOROUGH and answers many questions about why Andrew Jackson is so popular was presidents and why his image is on the 20-dollar bill.Published 21 days ago by Jerri Libert
Not to be beat a dead horse, but I was also unable to finish this book. The choppy writing, and lack of flow made it painful reading. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Outerbanker
Very readable and enlightening. I learned so much about the people around Jackson. This was a pleasant surprise. I recommend this book.Published 2 months ago by Robert
If you're looking for a biography on President Jackson, this book covers his life from a young child through his death. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sandy James