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Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times Hardcover – October 4, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
Andrew Jackson was devoted to many things for many reasons, and Brands shows us why, even if at times this man of the people seems a contradiction. The writing is precise and clear, though hardly the flowing prose of McCullough or Ellis (as has been remarked); yet it is the precision, craft and careful presentation employed by Brands that make this largely successful single-volume work shine. And if some may find the prose a little dry in places, the author more than compensates by interweaving a rich background tapestry for readers in every chapter, presenting a clear, historical context for observations about Jackson's character formation, mentality, psychology, military strategy, attitudes, decisions, and political development.
With surprising efficiency and admirable attention to detail, Brands brings the life of Andrew Jackson into intense focus, particularly at crucial moments like his difficult childhood and the gradual loss of his family during the Revolutionary War (Jackson's father died shortly before his namesake son was born); the privations, tribulations, humiliation, injury, loss, and intense insecurity of the seventh president's boyhood cannot be overstated.Read more ›
Of all the American presidents, Andrew Jackson lived the fullest, most colorful life. Only Teddy Roosevelt can come close for the variety of his life's experiences and even he falls far short of all that Jackson managed to do or be in his life. Jackson was a veteran of the Revolutionary War, briefly a school teacher, a lawyer, a judge, a U.S. Representative to Congress, a U.S. Senator, a circuit judge, a duelist, a gambler, a slave owner and trader, a dry goods salesman, a farmer, a landowner, a major general in the state militia, an Indian fighter, and a general in the U.S. Army, all before achieving national fame at the Battle of New Orleans.Read more ›
Mr. Brands writes a dense, just the facts approach in his biography of this populist President from the West who campaigned against the elitist Northeast. The true climax of his Presidency was his delaying the onset of the Civil War with his staring down his own Vice-President and the South with a genuine military show of force during the secession crisis.
Mr. Brands has written the best one volume biography of the seventh President, surpasssing Robert Remini's own 400+ page condensation ("The Life of Andrew Jackson"--1988) of his classic trilogy on Andrew Jackson. However, given that Jackson was at the center of American history for over 60 years, the reader is referred to Mr. Remini's three volume definitive biography of 1,600 pages (1977, 1981, 1984) for a fuller, richer picture of this fascinating President. In deciding which to read, it depends on how much time and how much interest the reader has in Andrew Jackson.
Brands has written a biography that reads like fiction. In a life that stretched from the Revolution to the entry of Texas, Jackson was instrumental in the shaping of both our current notion of representative democracy and the actual shape that our Union now assumes. One could argue that he is the most influential President not on Mt. Rushmore.
Brands' biography touches on the unsavory side of Jackson: his slave holding, dueling, and most of all, his instrumental role in seizing America from the Native American tribes. I think Brands stops short of exonerating Jackson, but he does place him in context. The reader is left to be the final judge, but there is little doubt that Brands feels Jackson's undeniable greatness overshadows his undeniable flaws.
Overall, I found this a fascinating look at an unjustly forgotten great American. Reading this was time well spent.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent portrait of a true patriot who based his life decisions on what was good for the American republic and its people. Read morePublished 9 hours ago by M. A. Vuwer
I have long considered Andrew Jackson one of America’s most fascinating Presidents. I recently decided it was time for me to read another book about him. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mike Powers
A thorough treatment of the man and his life written in a fluid style.Published 2 months ago by Paul C. Curley
What a great insight into a fascinating American hero and a fascinating period of American history. He brings Jackson to life!Published 3 months ago by Jim Wasserman
I've enjoyed this bio. very much. It's a good balance of his personal & political life. This was my first read of Jackson and this particular time and place(s) in US history. ☮Published 3 months ago by Mark C.