Driven West: Andrew Jackson and the Trail of Tears to the Civil War
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Driven West: Andrew Jackson and the Trail of Tears to the Civil War

3.3 of 5 stars 3.30  ·  rating details  ·  57 ratings  ·  12 reviews
By the acclaimed author of the classic Patriots and Union 1812, this major work of narrative history portrays four of the most turbulent decades in the growth of the American nation.

After the War of 1812, President Andrew Jackson and his successors led the country to its manifest destiny across the continent. But that expansion unleashed new regional hostilities that led...more
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published November 9th 2010 by Simon & Schuster
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Tony
DRIVEN WEST: Andrew Jackson and the Trail of Tears to the Civil War. (2010). A. J. Langguth. ***.
I had mixed feelings about this history. It was obviously the intent of the author to fully cover the roots and the reality of the Indian removal across the Mississippi under the presidency of Jackson, but he tried to cover much, much more. To do that, he reached the end of the transfer and then raced to take us up through the end of the Civil War – although his Civil War coverage only included the...more
Kristin Huston
While I enjoyed reading this book, I just became more and more angry at how everything played out. I've read about the Trail of Tears before and it always makes me angry. Unfortunately, I don't see a whole lot of change in government from then to now. Elected officials promising everything and delivering little, self-serving individuals screwing their own people and most of us blithely ignorant of what is going on. At least I didn't throw this book at the wall.
Nathan
I think of this book as a lecture by a completely well-intentioned but overly-enthusiastic professor, gregarious and slightly show-offy.

Langguth doesn't sound as elegiac as one might expect. This is no cousin to "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee". Rather, he spins out a tale in spurts of character studies, chapters entitled with the names of figures, forming a mosaic of a more complex kind than the more polemic treatments I've read. If the story is more complex, the delivery of it in bite-size pie...more
Paul

Fascinating portraits of all sorts of semi-forgotten historical figures, turns out I've forgotten a lot of American history. But here they are, Henry Clay, Martin Van Buren, John Calhoun, Jackson, of course, and their ladies who play large roles in running Washington. Also the leaders of the Cherokee nation, Major Ridge and others. So far, not to the trail of tears, but what a lot of rapscallions our forefathers were. I'm glad I'm not descended from this lot of thieves, slave-owners, and worse....more
Mike
I found this book to be a difficult one to review. I feel like I learned a lot about the political history of America during the time of Jackson through Buhcanan, but felt that the book never truly had an identity. Much of it wanted to be a history of the Cherokee and the Trail of Tears. However, every time it started making progress with their history, it would switch over to presidential politics or something else. It seemed like the author would have been better served narrowing the book down...more
Reid
A.J. Langguth has become my favorite American history author, with my only complaint being he hasn't covered every period in our history yet. "Patriots" remains my favorite so far, but his writing style, knowledge and research makes each of his books enjoyable.

That said, I very much enjoyed Driven West but it found it more difficult to get into. This is a result of the times covered, an important part of American history but certainly doesn't get the play the Revolutionary or Civil wars get. Eve...more
Joe
A very good high level overview of American history from 1825 through the Civil War ... with a particularly interesting emphasis on the relocation of the South East American Indians to "Indian Country." The "Trail of Tears" was a very embarressing event in the history of the US.

I enjoy Langguth's style. His books are very readable with excellent content. I learned a lot in reading this book.
AmblingBooks
A. J. Langguth, the author of the acclaimed Patriots and Union 1812, offers a gripping history of the gathering storm in the decades preceding the Civil War.

Listen to Driven West on your smartphone, notebook or desktop computer.
Gene
An amazing story, gripping characters portrayed in a way that a fiction writer could never build. The intrigue between Calhoun, Jackson, Van Buren, and Clay rivals the political aspirations of Alexander Hamilton. Somehow they all seem to be three faced scoundrels, but I liked their characters.
Michael
Well written with interesting insights into the actions of the men on both sides of Indian removal and "The Trail of Tears". This issue & Andrew Jackson figure into the Nullification debate, however, they don't figure into the Secession Crisis of 1860-61 leading to the Civil War.
Steve
Well written, as all books by this author. Much that I did not know, but depressing enough that I am not sure I wanted to know it.
Russell L
A detailed history of the politics and actors who affected the push to drive the Indians out of Florida and Georgia to the West.
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A.J. "Jack" Langguth is Professor Emeritus of the the School of Journalism at the University of Southern California and an American author and journalist. In addition to his non-fiction work, he is the author of several dark, satirical novels. A graduate of Harvard College, Langguth was South East Asian correspondent and Saigon bureau chief for "The New York Times" during the Vietnam war. He was a...more
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