Andrew Jackson, his intimate circle of friends, and his tumultuous times are at the heart of this remarkable book about the man who rose from nothing to create the modern presidency. Beloved and hated, venerated and reviled, Andrew Jackson was an orphan who fought his way to the pinnacle of power, bending the nation to his will in the cause of democracy. Jackson’s election...more
1. Doesn't tell enough. Meachem tells me that Jackson's father died unexpectedly, then he takes a long sentence to tell me that during the funeral, the body actually got lost. So why couldn't he tell me how exactly the guy died? This mistake is common throughout. He keeps not telling me things he ought.
2. Tells me too much. I am not exaggerating when I say he spends just as much time, just as many ...more
Jackson wasn't complicated. He was maybe one of the simplest presidents America ever had. Here are some simple facts:
1) His greatest military victory was the Battle of New O ...more
Well, Mr Meacham has done an excellent job researching Andrew Jackson as well as the culture and history surrounding his time in the White House. I cannot fault him in his research... and his book did impress upon me the amount of knowledge that he has acquired on the subject.
However, I was not a fan of the book. I had to force myself to persevere thru its reading. I found it dull, but more importantly, I felt that ...more
As the first president outside the Virginia / Massachusetts axis, he was a different sort of president. In a ...more
This book was a Christmas present. It is focused on the man and what drove him perhaps more than the events in his life. Jackson was a pivotal figure in US history in many ways.
Gave me much more appreciation of this complex man and hi ...more
Look, I could talk about how stilted the construction of this bio-history is, and I could talk about the frankly odd pacing and even odder notes. But my real problem with this book is a lot more subtle. Take a quote like this one: “. . . but Jackson, like many husbands before and since, m ...more
I felt like Meacham did a great job of showing the strengths of Andrew Jackson, almost to a fault. I would have rather heard some of the ne ...more
The man ...more
Meacham makes the case that the loss of Jackson's family during the Revolutionary War laid the foundation for a life-long need to substitut ...more
But what is highly annoying is the author's penchant to fantasize about what someone was thinking, presenting it as fact. "Emily was t ...more
While I enjoyed learning more about Ja ...more
Most of us, I guess, know Jackson was called “Old Hickory.” that he won the battle of New Orleans during (actually shortly after, but he didn’t know that.) the war of 1812, and that he was a feisty and combative soul. Some of us who read the Irving S ...more
Meacham summarizes Jackson’s life pre-election, setting the stage with as much detail as necessary to und ...more
The author clearly worked his arse off and my guess is if i was a historian i may be impressed with his new information. The overall story of AJ is extremely compelling and important, and Meacham has a very readable writing style... BUT (and you knew that was coming), there is something missing for the casual reader like myself who loved the JOHN ADAMS book.
I struggled to define the problem as I read - maybe it was this inconsistent macro/micro approach... one ...more