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The Age of Jackson (Back Bay Books (Series)) Paperback – November 28, 1988
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A landmark in American historical writing. -- Marquis James
An original, brilliant and monumentally massive historical work...It is a major achievement -- The New York Times
Performed not merely adequately but brilliantly . . . a remarkable piece of analytical history. -- Allan Nevins --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Arthur Meier Schlesinger Jr. is a distinguished Professor of History and the author of 16 books. He has twice won the Pulitzer Prize, first for The Age of Jackson, then 20 years later for A Thousand Days, his portrait of the Kennedy administration, which also won the National Book Award. He served in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during the Second World War and as special assistant to the president in the Kennedy White House. In 1967, Schlesinger was appointed Albert Schweitzer Chair in the Humanities at the City University of New York Graduate School. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
The Age of Jackson was an age of conflict: conflict between classes, regions and personalities. It was an era of bank vs. people, plutocrats vs. common man, North vs. South and abolitionist vs. slaveocrat. To author Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. the clash of lasting consequence was that of class, the plutocracy vs. masses. Schlesinger focuses the challenge Jackson raised to the Virginia aristocracy and the patrons of the Adams dynasty who had controlled the White House through the life of the Republic. Jackson turned the political landscape upside down as the broadening suffrage enabled military heroes to compete with the erstwhile political ruling class. The most profound struggle during the Jackson Age was the decision to deny the recharter of the Second Bank of The United States. This work begins in 1829 with Jackson’s ascension to the White House and continues until Jacksonians complete their public service after the Civil War.
What I like most about this book is the way it follows the personalities and issues who entered the public stage with Jackson throughout their careers. The reader sees Jackson assemble his coalition, the opposition coalesce into the Whig party, the slavery tension supplant economic issues as fracture lines between the parties that traded power, all while individuals shift from banner to banner. The influence of Jackson and his followers was more long lasting than I realized. I am impressed by the way it involves so many political, commercial and literary figures in its story. I am reminded of Will and Ariel Durant’s series on the History of Civilization.
This is clearly a book on a mission. Schlesinger presents Jackson as a popular reformer in the line extending from Jefferson through the Progressive Era that had found its high point in FDR’s administration. I think that at times he stretches the evidence to keep his chain intact. Copyrighted in 1945, it is undeniably a work of its tday. Later historians may take a different view of the continuity from Jackson to Roosevelt and the issues selected by Schlesinger to make his case. I found it interesting that the contemporary charge that Jackson erred in his expulsion of the Indians along the Trail of Tears merits no mention in this work. I do not recall any Indians being mentioned on these pages. Schlesinger’s timeline runs from Jackson’s attack on the Bank through FDR’s support of unions, but not through the Trail of Tears to Roosevelt’s relocation of Japanese Americans. The “Age Of Jackson” compels the reader to think about the trend of American history from 1829 to the end of the Civil War. It also makes us contemplate how history is molded by its tellers.