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Andrew Jackson: Good, Evil and the Presidency

4.1 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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(Jan 15, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

The first president with a nickname, "Old Hickory" was born in a log cabin and was an orphan by age 13, but rose to become a major general in the United States Army and the seventh president of the United States. Jackson had strong opinions and equally strong opposition during his eight years as president. He was the first president to open the doors of the White House to blue-collar Americans, and he shook up the glossy world of Washington, DC with his "common man" methods and ideals, but also oversaw one of the most controversial events in American history: the forced removal of Indian tribes, including the Cherokees, from their homes.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Martin Sheen
  • Directors: Carl Byker, Mitch Wilson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: January 15, 2008
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00115Q6N8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,397 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
I teach 8th grade and generally documentaries are a struggle in terms of keeping students attention. But this one combines acting and narration very successfully. The kids both enjoyed it and, more importantly, learned a lot from it.

Positives: Good mix of acting and narration. Production is also very good.

Negatives: Only negative is really only a problem for teachers...like most documentaries, its made for adults so the language/vocabulary is not easy for younger kids (for my 8th graders we had to discuss lots of vocabulary prior to watching).
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I'll have to admit I bought this video because my son is in it! (He's one of the musicians very briefly shown in the inauguration scene.) That was my motivation for keeping the production around for posterity. However, I have to say that when I watched the program when it was aired on public television in 1/08, I was thoroughly engaged, entertained, and educated. There were many things I learned about Andrew Jackson and the early politics of the American presidency that I don't recall learning about in my school days. Among these was the fact that he was the first to actually be elected by popular vote, and in that, kept the presidency from being a "good old boys" legacy to be passed on to Washington insiders and power brokers. Trivia buffs and presidential historians will find this a valuable addition to their collections. For myself, it will be a memento of my son's 20 seconds of fame.
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Yes, this might seem a little like revisionist history if your only
study of American History was in High School and you remember the two
pages of "Jacksonian" history they cramed in between the Revolution
and the Civil War. History takes years to unfold and to see
it clearly. Maybe Jackson was a product of his times, but during his
Presidency Indians and Slaves were not "white" and they were treated according to the customs of the times and Jackson did not change that.
There was even fear of them banding together to challenge whites, this is something I don't remember from High School history, but it helps explain the Seminole Indians Wars and the the Trail of Tears. Is that revisionist? No, I call that insight into the American Experience and the reason you study history: to find a cause.
He had the opportunity as every President did from the founding of our Nation, to challenge slavery and abolish it, as did the British during in 1833, DURING HIS PRESIDENCY. Instead he did as all other Presidents before him, he choose to ignore it and hope it would go away.
Another fact that I never learned was the assination attempt on Jackson's life. Great documentary on a controvertial President.

"Andrew Jackson was a patriot and a traitor. He was the greatest of generals, and wholly ignorant of the art of war. He was the most candid of men, and capable of the profoundest dissimulation. He was a democratic autocrat, an urbane savage, an atrocious saint."

- James Parton, Jackson's first biographer, 1859
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As a teacher, this documentary was helpful in teaching the students the positives and negatives of Andrew Jackson. It was a great review of what we had covered in class and provided information that the students used in writing a persuasive essay.
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I use it with my 8th grade students. Interesting details, lives action interwoven with interviews with Jacksonian scholars. I am so glad to have it as a resource for the often overlooked period in America's history.
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This is one of those really great PBS documentaries that delivers not just information but a real story, the through-lines and themes that resonate throughout a person's life. The titles of the sections of the film illustrate the incredible complexity and contradiction in this man -- The Wild Young Man, The War Hero, The Slave Master, The Candidate, The First Imperial President, The Defender of the Union, The Great White Father, and The Prophet.
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Thoroughly enjoyed watching this video on Andrew Jackson. They did a great job of covering his history and revealing his life and character. The only other I watched this is comparable in quality is on Ben Franklin. A must see.
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This is a great biography with twists and turns in the story that kept the students attention and was a great overview of the chapter in History on Andrew Jackson.
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