Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Life of Andrew Jackson” as Want to Read:
The Life of Andrew Jackson
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Life of Andrew Jackson

3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,913 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
The classic one-volume biography of Andrew Jackson

Robert V. Remini's prizewinning, three-volumn biography, The Life of Andrew Jackson, won the National Book Award upon it's completion in 1984. Now, Remini captures the essence of the life and career of the seventh president of the United States in the meticulously crafted single-volume abridgement.
Paperback, 448 pages
Published August 21st 2001 by Harper Perennial (first published 1988)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
John Adams by David McCullough1776 by David McCulloughTeam of Rivals by Doris Kearns GoodwinA People's History of the United States by Howard ZinnBattle Cry of Freedom by James M. McPherson
Best Non-fiction American History Books
90th out of 1,236 books — 1,712 voters
John Adams by David McCullough1776 by David McCulloughTeam of Rivals by Doris Kearns GoodwinThe Guns of August by Barbara W. TuchmanThe Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer
Best History Books
299th out of 1,825 books — 1,855 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jeremy Perron
Feb 25, 2012 Jeremy Perron rated it it was amazing
Andrew Jackson changed the face of the Republic; his election would signify the new reality that any American man* could be president. He was he first person of common humble origins to elected to the highest office. Jackson was the first president not be from the original thirteen colonies, and the first time the nation had turned to a `Westerner**'. He is the only president to have his own time period named after him, the `Jacksonian Era.' Until Andrew Jackson came on the scene `democracy' was ...more
Dec 06, 2013 Steve rated it really liked it

“The Life of Andrew Jackson” by Robert Remini is the single-volume abridgment of the author’s classic three-volume series on Andrew Jackson which was published between 1977 and 1984. Although he confessed to finding the distillation process “traumatic and agonizing,” Remini’s abbreviated biography successfully crystallizes (in just one-fourth the space) the essence of his longer series and saves the reader nearly one-thousand pages in the process.

Remini wa
Brian Manville
Apr 03, 2014 Brian Manville rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
America is replete with larger than life characters who seem to characterize the American spirit. Andrew Jackson is encapsulated and described in vivid detail in Robert Remini's biography of the 7th president.

A true gauge of the effectiveness of a biography is how well balanced the author treats his subject. Remini does largely succeeds in making Jackson a real person. This is not glowing hagiography nor hatchet piece. His temper, duels as well as his bullying of the Indians are not glossed over
Feb 08, 2013 Sandy rated it liked it
The foreword to this book indicates that the author, Robert V. Remini, explains that this work is actually a reduction of a massive, academic review of President Jackson. This version is a lively, interesting exposition of this controversial and seminal Chief Executive. Jackson was born during the American Revolution of extreme poverty and grew to a national and international figure of merit, all the while being attacked by more learned opponents. Jackson is prominently remembered and many of hi ...more
Jun 12, 2016 James rated it really liked it
Remini accomplishes a lot with this condensed version of his three volume of Jackson. He presents a vivid picture of one the most distinctive men to ever be President. He sets up a clear picture of a man who could strategize and organize in amazing detail... yet ignore the follow through. A compulsive Christian... who was equally committed to slavery and the Removal of Native Americans.

This didn't cause me to adjust my stance on 'Bloody Andrew.' But it gave me a better basis to understand him, a
Jamie Collins
A very readable biography. This is the author's abridgement of his three-volume work on Jackson, and the editing was seamless, aside from a couple of times when a personage was discussed as if they had been introduced, when they had not.

The author is obviously fond of his subject, as are most biographers, but he was reasonably willing to discusses Jackson’s failings. Only towards the end did I feel that he veered into hagiography territory, getting carried away with describing how much the Ameri
Jun 04, 2016 Tom rated it really liked it
Biography of a very important president. I'm glad I read it as I had only a passing knowledge of Jackson & his times.
Rakesh Dursheti
Mar 30, 2016 Rakesh Dursheti rated it really liked it
This has been my favorite Presidential biography so far because of the character of Jackson himself and the quality of writing. First, Jackson, born in North Carolina and raised in Tennessee, was the first President not from either Virginia or Massachusetts. Because of Jackson's temperament, this book read more like a western then the biographies of previous presidents. For the first half of the book I think he is in a duel or bar fight in every chapter.
Second, this book was written very well. I
Ric White
Jun 04, 2015 Ric White rated it it was amazing
A great read. The pacing is perfect, covering his military and presidential careers with great detail while still providing ample time for other moments in his life. I also am a fan of how his time in the White House is addressed. Other works from this era talk more about the actions and the relationships with other people and not the work that took place, but not this book; you get a wonderful balance of both. While the book leans a little in favor of Jackson at times, it still honestly conveys ...more
Christian Dibblee
Remini's treatment of a controversial figure has lots to recommend it. Andrew Jackson's early years cover very little of the book, but his tendencies show early. He had a fiery temper on the frontier and was involved in several duels, which did harm his long-term health. His color, however, proved to be a boon during the Battle of New Orleans (a huge victory) and during his fights against the Creeks.

Remini does a fantastic job on covering Jackson's rise to political power and his presidency, oft
Craig Adamson
Once again, Shelfari seems to have somehow deleted my review of this book from a several years ago. i know I enjoyed it. Andrew Jackson is a real SOB, but very loyal and very determined to do right in the face of terrible adversity.

Wish I could share more. Was planning to re-read at some point, but perhaps sooner than later in HOPES that when I write the review again it saves. This program is so damned finicky about saving. Oftentimes the review does save but my rating doesn't. Or the wrong book
John Maniscalco
Dec 16, 2009 John Maniscalco rated it really liked it
A great book about a great man, the story of Andrew Jackson is one of a statesman who lost everything in the American Revolution and gave everything so that the United States might live.

The book gives a great overview of Jackson's life before the presidency and gives an extremely detailed account of Jackson's victory in the Battle of New Orleans, a victory that was of critical importance to both Jackson and the power of the United States. He not only helped save the United States from invasion
Josh Liller
This book is a 400 page edit by the author of his three volume 1400 page biography on Jackson. I read it as assigned reading for my "Age Of Jefferson & Jackson" college class.

Remini is clearly favorable to Jackson, although importantly he does occasionally criticize some things. A main theme of the biography is to show Jackson had a fairly clear political ideology he followed, contrary to critics. I don't agree with all of Remini's conclusions, though he tries to makes a good argument.

Matt Ely
Feb 02, 2016 Matt Ely rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
I read it because the rise of Jacksonian democracy was something I was almost completely unfamiliar with. He lived through a dynamic period, fighting in the Revolution at a young teenager, commanding and winning the final battle in the War of 1812, and working hard to stave off the inevitable forces of secession.

Jackson has a reputation as a violent man, and it has scarred our collective memory of him. Of course, the impression is basically accurate. There are accounts of his many duels and gun
Jackson Cyril
Feb 21, 2016 Jackson Cyril rated it it was ok
Shelves: american-history
Remini (who taught at UIC) somehow manages to write this huge volume on Jackson without seriously dealing with Native Americans--and in his other works (except for the pathetic little pamphlet he wrote on Jackson's "Native American policy") he maintains this silence. I was talking to someone on staff who remembered Remini and they mentioned that one of Remini's last regrets was not seriously grappling with the darker side of Jackson--I guess that counts for something... doesn't it?
Becca Kirkman
Jun 07, 2016 Becca Kirkman rated it liked it
Shelves: history
I have to start with a disclaimer- I loathe Andrew Jackson. Native Americans call him Genocide Jackson for a very good reason. I didn't like his personality or the way he treated other people.

Reading this biography was good for me, because I learned more about Jackson and his life. It was interesting that he used his violent temper to get what he wanted and to accomplish what he thought needed to be done.
I still don't agree with his view, but I think I have a better understanding of him, and w
Feb 16, 2015 Daniel rated it it was amazing
I read the abridged one volume version. A fair account of Old Hickory's Life. He was a complex President who is perhaps diminished in contemporary views because of Indian Removal, but his philosophies were at the core of Democratic ideology. He had good egalitarian impulses, and had the vision which enabled US Expansion. One can easily argue that we would be speaking Spanish, Creek or ummmm.... English. If it weren't for this man's bravery and leadership.
Peter Sprunger
Aug 02, 2010 Peter Sprunger rated it it was amazing
This has been my favorite Presidential biography so far because of the character of Jackson himself and the quality of writing. First, Jackson, born in North Carolina and raised in Tennessee, was the first President not from either Virginia or Massachusetts. Because of Jackson's temperament, this book read more like a western then the biographies of previous presidents. For the first half of the book I think he is in a duel or bar fight in every chapter.
Second, this book was written very well.
Literary Chic
Jun 05, 2016 Literary Chic rated it it was amazing
EXCELLENT bio on Jackson! The author packs so much into 225 pages. Whether you are an aficionado or a novice, this biography is a great history of our 7th president. I now want to read all of Remini's bios about the men of this generation.
Apr 15, 2013 Ben rated it really liked it
If you're a mild history buff like me, you probably know your Revolutionary War and Civil War periods pretty well but are somewhat hazy on your early 19th century America. And you don't know much about Andrew Jackson other than that he's on the $20 and was nicknamed Old Hickory. This one book abridgment of Remini's three volume biography is a perfect introduction to Jackson's life and legacy. It's not comprehensive, but it covers all the bases. Jackson was quite an interesting guy (and a racist, ...more
Nov 16, 2014 Alicia rated it really liked it
Very good. An excellent balance of personal and political. Remini may have glossed over Jackson's flaws a bit too much for my liking, but, overall, it is informative with minimal hero worship.
Becky Snow maybe teves
This book is a solid OK. Remini did a pretty good job remaining unbiased while talking specifically about Jackson, but he definitely showed his opinions on things like the Monroe administration. I understand that this is an abridged version of a huge, three volume biography, but I felt some things were accorded more detail that didn't necessarily deserve it, while other times I wanted more information. Too much time was wasted on electioneering and I would've liked hearing more about the Indian ...more
Ryan Williams
Robert V. Remini has written several books on the former president Andrew Jackson and it shows. Usually, one would think that a biography of someone who lived in the 19th century would be horrendously boring, but Remini found a way to contradict that belief. The Life of Andrew Jackson read like a fiction novel. Though it was factual information, the scenarios that were discussed were written to make the reader feel like they were actually there at the scene. I know a great deal of information ab ...more
Sep 19, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it
It's difficult to prevent my lack of admiration for the subject of this biography (Andrew Jackson) from overwhelming my more objective assessment of the Remini's work itself. So, what probably was a five-star biography and a three-star subject averages to a four-star review. Sloppy thinking, I know, but I just cannot bring myself to highly-rate anything having to do with a man who was, effectively, the leader of the 19th Century tea-like party. I probably should have read a biography of Henry Cl ...more
Apr 04, 2008 Debbie rated it it was amazing
This book was wonderful. A biography that I couldn't put down - amazing. It told of President Jackson's life. He was the first president really to come from nothing to a great President. You really feel like you are seeing things through his eyes. He loved his country and always believed he was a servant of the democracy. Yes he made mistakes, but he always put his country above everything else. He had a strong testimony of Providence. 'He proved for all time the reality and splendor of the Amer ...more
Jan 22, 2012 Lindsay rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2012
I am not a typical reader of American history and found this book to hold my interest pretty well. I agree with other reviews that the author is a bit too favorable of Jackson, especially when it comes to his treatment/policies dealing with the native Americans (Includes an allusion to the fact that Jackson's relocation policies might have saved the Indians from extinction...a bit too much of a stretch for me). Jackson played an important role in history and this is a good book about an interest ...more
Mike Fournier
Jan 19, 2016 Mike Fournier rated it really liked it
Should have read the three volume version. Jackson had some epic adventures.
Bryan Craig
Oct 22, 2009 Bryan Craig rated it really liked it
This is a good one-volume biography of Jackson. Remini condensed his three volume work to one and it is quite an achievement. There are a few awkward sentences as he tries to bridge things together, but he continues to be one of the best Jackson scholars around. One criticism is that the book does not cover slavery.
Andy Rudolph
May 24, 2010 Andy Rudolph rated it it was amazing
A fantastic look at Andrew Jackson, both the person and the President. Without question, this is my favorite historical biography. Remini offers a compelling narrative of Jackson as a politician and all-around bad-ass.

If you are at all interested in Andrew Jackson or are a true American patriot, read this book.
Aug 02, 2007 Tom rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Historian, Casual Historians
Shelves: biography
This relatively short and easy to read one volume biography of Jackson is a great place to start for those just getting interested in American History.

This tale of President Jackson's hellbent early years to his death as a catankerous old man is a thrilling ride.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • President James Buchanan: A Biography
  • Millard Fillmore: Biography of a President
  • The Sage of Monticello
  • Old Tippecanoe: William Henry Harrison and His Time
  • The Shadow of Blooming Grove: Warren G. Harding in His Times
  • John Tyler (The American Presidents, #10)
  • Gentleman Boss: The Life of Chester Alan Arthur (Signature)
  • James Madison: A Biography
  • Martin Van Buren: The Romantic Age of American Politics
  • Coolidge: An American Enigma
  • Grant: A Biography
  • Garfield
  • Andrew Johnson: A Biography
  • Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America
  • John Tyler: The Accidental President
  • Franklin Pierce (The American Presidents, #14)
  • Zachary Taylor: Soldier, Planter, Statesman of the Old Southwest
  • The Age of Jackson

Share This Book

“Republics exist as long as the people "adhere to principles and virtue.” 0 likes
More quotes…