21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Detailed enough to tell his story,
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This review is from: Andrew Johnson : A Biography (Signature Series) (Hardcover)
I read this book in my ongoing project to read a biography of each President. The best part of this book in my opinion was the length. A lot of biographers lengthen their book to a point where it becomes too detailed and hard to read. That was not the case here.
Johnson was not a great president, nor was he a great person. And, other than the Civil War and Reconstruction he didn't have a key stake in American History. Why go overboard? And the author didn't.
I've read many very wonderful presidential biographies. Truman was fantastic and was 900 pages because it shouldn've been. The 3-part bio on Nixon was 1800 pages and should've been because a lot went on during Nixon's life in politics.
This bio, much like the Andrew Jackson bio I read, was between 300 and 400 pages.... detailed enough to tell the story but not detailed to the point where I got lost or just flat lost interest.
I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to read about Andrew Johnson but if you are looking to make a life out of studying the man it is probably not the book for you because it is not overly detailed.
It was exactly what I was looking for though, well-written, well-researched and gave me a good overview of a President that I have always wanted to know more about. He definitely was not of high moral character and definitely played to his southern base with his actions surrounding reconstruction. That said, I did find it interesting that he was demonized at times by both his colleagues and the press.
Sounds like aside from his thinking in regards to blacks and slavery he was a good and honest man that tried to do what was right most of the time. That was something the author did a very good job detailing and I appreciated it.