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Andrew Jackson Hardcover – December 27, 2005
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"The Black Presidency"
Rated by Vanity Fair as one of our most lucid intellectuals writing on race and politics today, this book is a provocative and lively look into the meaning of America's first black presidency. Learn more
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Top Customer Reviews
I started both the Brand and Remini bios. Through them I came to understand his childhood and how the American Revolution shaped his character and views. The psychological toll of losing his nuclear family at a young age had to be enormous. His mother's heroic search and rescue of him in a very abusive British POW camp illustrates the love and family loyalty he lost.
Wilentz quickly outlines the child/youth/military and plunges into the presidency, which was what I was seeking when I started reading the others.
Wilentz cleary states the complicated facts of Jackson's war on the bank. To Jackson it was a war on the aristrocracy. It is not within the scope of Wilentz's book to editorialize, but were Biddle and his cronies really controling the US economy? Could the land issues have been settled with (Lincolnesque) homestead acts, which undoubtedly would have been very popular? Could he have fought for legislative mini-changes (Clintonesque) to curb certain powers, such as bidding out government banking needs. Jackson and Biddle were clearly obstinate equals, but as Pres, it would seem that there were other paths to take leadership on this since he deemed it important. How necessary and/or effective was this bank war? Did it really save the "little guy" in the short or long run?
In his tooth and nail fight on nullification, Jackson may have been as instrumental as Lincoln in holding the union together. Jackson's stand against nullification not only solidified the sentiment for his day, but also built precedent for future times.Read more ›
I still think Professor Wilentz makes a few assumptions about Jackson's views re: the Constitution and what the government owes the individual, but he is not nearly as dogmatic as I would have guessed. Overall, a worthy introduction to the president and a handsome addition to the series.
I chose Sean Wilentz' biography of Andrew Jackson (1767 -- 1845) because of our seventh President's role in broadening the basis of American democracy and because of the controversy he inspired and continues to inspire. Jackson was a flamboyant, larger-than-life figure with great virtues and as many faults. He was orphaned at an early age and bore for life the physical and emotional scars inflicted upon him by a sword gash to the head by a British officer during the Revolutionary War. Jackson fought off poverty and his own impulsive nature to serve an early term in Congress and in the Senate before the 19th century. He became a lawyer, a judge and a large plantation owner of the Hermitage in Tennessee. He became famous as an Indian fighter in wars against the Southeast Tribes such as the Creeks and Cherokees and against the Florida Seminoles. Jackson won a great victory against the British at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, (the War of 1812 was officially over at the time) which secured his fame.
Jackson ran for President in 1824 but, following a close election, he was denied the presidency in the House of Representatives as a result of what he claimed was a "corrupt bargain" between John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay.Read more ›
Was he the populist politician who championed the rights of all citizens in the growing republic, yet owned slaves to do the hard work on his own property?
Was he the grandiose dictator who tried to crush his political enemies whom he viewed as elitist or just a man from the working class battling those seeking to dominate the masses?
Was he the brilliant military genius who defeated the British in the War of 1812 for America's only major victory in that ill-conceived conflict against England? Or was he the racist extremist who conquered the Indian Tribes and removed them from their homelands in the south because it was good for his own political career?
Was he all of that and more?
Sean Wilentz is a Professor of History at Princeton University and has written a new examination of Jackson in `The American Presidents' series that are published by Times Books which are edited by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. Schlesinger had previously written about the famed chief executive sixty years ago in the Pulitzer Prize winning biography `The Age of Jackson.'
Wilentz tries to explain in the brief 195 page tome those many contradictions of the Tennessee military commander nicknamed `Old Hickory' for his toughness who is generally accepted as one of our nation's top half-dozen greatest presidents.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This man should not be written about but should be written off... He was an outrageous bully who won because of the rampant ignorance... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Pepsi L. Boyer
Came on time and was definetly better priced than my schools book store. The book coverwas a little beat up but other than that it was excellent.Published 14 months ago by jobes94
I've just begun the American Presidents series starting with Madison. Thought that book to be both an awful read and knew less about Madison than I did when I started. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Ron Call
Our schools teach very little about the history of our founding or our past presidents. This series of books helps our understanding of the work and the sacrifices our past leaders... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Joe Hayden
I had to get it to write a essay and half way through reading it I wrote it. I plan on reading the rest laterPublished 21 months ago by Donovan patrick
Great book which focused a lot on his military and political life. I had hoped to read more about his religious views.Published 24 months ago by RL