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The Life of Andrew Jackson (P.S.) Paperback – Bargain Price, February 16, 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 75 customer reviews

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From the Back Cover

Robert V. Remini's prize-winning, three-volume biography Life of Andrew Jackson won the National Book Award on its completion in 1984 and is recognized as one of the greatest lives of a U.S. President. In this meticulously crafted single-volume abridgment, Remini captures the essence of the life and career of the seventh president of the United States. As president, from 1829-1837, Jackson was a significant force in the nations's expansion, the growth of presidential power, and the transition from republicanism to democracy.

Jackson is a highly controversial figure who is undergoing historical reconsideration today. He is known as spurring the emergence of the modern American political division of Republican and Democractic parties, for the infamous Indian removal on the Trail of Tears, and for his brave victory against the British as Major General at the Battle of New Orleans.

Never an apologist, Remini portrays Jackson as a foreceful, sometimes tragic, hero--a man whose strength and flaws were larger than life, a president whose conviction provided the nation with one of the most influential, colorful, and controversial administrations in our history.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Robert V. Remini is professor of history emeritus and research professor of humanities emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago and historian of the United States House of Representatives. He is the winner of the National Book Award for the third volume of his study of Andrew Jackson, and he lives in Wilmette, Illinois.

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Product Details

  • Series: P.S.
  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics; 1 edition (February 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061807885
  • ASIN: B004IK9F4U
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,646,142 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I'll start by admiting that I'm not exactly an Andrew Jackson fan. He seems to me to be arrogant, egotistical and has a habit of refusing to listen (with any real seriousness) to differing views on a subject once his mind is already made up. I still hold these views, but Remini presents to us a man who is much more than the one-dementional figure described above.
Like most, I have low expectations of a book that is a one volume version of mulitple volumes (Remini cut 1600+ pages into under 400). They tend to simply give a recap of the events of the subjects life without much explaination or connection between events. Happily, Remini's book does not fit that stereotype. In the introduction, Remini says that he keeps in mind that this will most likely be read casually by people mildly familiar with Jackson. He therefore specifically points to events in Jackson's life and tell the reader, "this is important because later Jackson will remember this and..." He does this from the earliest days of Jackson's life; admitting that Jackson was a bully of sorts, Remini also says that he might not be so abrasive if he had the influence of his father (who died before Jackson was born) or if he didn't have to rely on charity from his uncles and aunts to survive.
Through this technique, Remini gives the reader a fuller view of Jackson and how the many circumstances of his life come together to produce a unique man. Along with the man's characteristics mentioned in the first chapter, Jackson is also extremely patriotic, devoted to the Christian religion, slightly paranoid, in constant pain from bullets lodged in his body and a refusal to let himself rest, a workaholic, and an excellent strategist.
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Format: Paperback
Andrew Jackson looked like a bit of a lemon (as far as the American voter was concerned) when he went into the White House. When he came out, he looked much better. How did he do it?
This is a careful condensation of Remini's 3-volume work on Jackson that incorporates the result of more recent scholarship and research. Remini describes our 7th President's struggle to overcome his reputation as a violent and vengeful man who was almost a social outcast in Western Tennessee.
Remini analyses Jackson's shortcomings, which include some very human mistakes, and his inability to bring Texas into the Union. Emphasizing that Jackson "served the American people extremely well" by preserving the integrity of the Union, saving the government from misrule, and liquidating the public debt, Remini shows why Jackson was more popular when he left the White House than he was when he went in. Don't look for an in-depth political treatise here but you will find sufficient material to give you a well-rounded, sympathetic look at a complicated man in an equally complicated time.
It's not meant to be comprehensive -- you'll find that in the larger work -- this is meant to be what it is. It's a fascinating, readable and entertaining story of how that political turn-about happened, written by one of America's foremost biographers.
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This is a gripping, well-written chronological account of Jackson's life from his 1767 birth in South Carolina to his death at the Hermitage in 1845. With a gifted, engaging literary style, Remini paints a series of memorable portraits of all the major scenes in Jackson's life. For instance, the opening pages describing the Battle of New Orleans are filled with more tension and excitement than most fiction!
Remini's literary, impressionistic style works most of the time, but for the complex political issues that come up when Jackson is president a bit more analysis would be useful. For instance, Remini describes in detail Jackson's hatred of the Bank of the United States, but never goes into any detailed discussion about whether this hatred was justified or the putative wrong-doings of the Bank. In that sense, the book is incomplete.
Some reviewers have worried that Remini overlooks the horrible fate of the Native Americans under Jackson's rule, such as the forced relocation of Native Americans to reservations west of the Mississippi. I must differ with these reviewers. For instance, in summarizing Jackson's treatment of the Native Americans, Remini says:
The removal of the American Indians was one of the most significant and tragic acts of the Jackson administration. It was accomplished in total violation not only of American principles of justice and law but of Jackson's own strict code of conduct (this is from p. 219).
Finally, to Remini's credit as an editor, the fact that this is a distilled version of his own three-volume work on Jackson never comes through. I would recommend 'The Life of Andrew Jackson' to anyone who wants an introduction to Andrew Jackson's personal and political lives, and doesn't mind missing out on some of finer political complexities of Jackson's time.
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Format: Paperback
"The Life of Andrew Jackson," written in 1988, is an abridgment of Robert V. Remini's masterful three-volume Jackson biography comprised of "Andrew Jackson: The Course of American Empire;" " Andrew Jackson: The Course of American Freedom;" and "Andrew Jackson: The Course of American Democracy."

Normally, I shy away from reading single volume abridgments of multi-volume works. In this particular case, I ended up reading the shorter version AFTER I had finished Remini's longer, more detailed triptych. As abridgments go, "The Life of Andrew Jackson" is decently written. It encapsulates the long and controversial life of Andrew Jackson clearly and succinctly. Unfortunately, it has one glaring flaw: it lacks much of the fine detail I look for in presidential biographies.

Exactly who was this extraordinary man who became our nation's chief executive? Born in 1767 in South Carolina, Jackson was Revolutionary War hero by age 12. As a young man, in Tennessee, he became a lawyer, judge, major general of the Tennessee militia. He made his fortune as a land speculator; married the great love of his life, Rachel Donelson. He killed at least two men while fighting several duels; the wounds he received while duelling caused him lifelong pain.

Jackson gained national stature as a military hero. His most famous victory came on January 8, 1815, at the end of the War of 1812. It was there he led American forces to an overwhelming victory over the British in the Battle of New Orleans.
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