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Preview — Andrew Jackson by H.W. Brands
Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times
The most famous American of his time, Andrew Jackson is a seminal figure in American history. The first “common man” to rise to the presidency ...more
It's much more difficult to evaluate Andrew Jackson the man than it is the book. Aside from the fact that his legend and legacy have come to represent an array of polarized pos ...more
Brands has put together a solid bio in Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times. Though it did nothing to dissuade my low opinion of his political prowess, I would still recommend this as a good read, especially if you're interested in Jackson.
It’s easy to pick Old Hickory apart in order to reconstruct the man into what ...more
One of the exciting things about this book for me was discovering the contexts of Jackson’s life. I tend to view history as this set of discrete facts, tenuously connected by time. But reading Jackson truly highlighted the interconnectedness of it all. ...more
Critics agree that even though there's mild interest in the life of President Andrew Jackson, the author who could spark a forest fire of curiosity would be acclaimed biographer, H. W. Brands, who teaches at the University of Texas at Austin. In tackling the life and times of Jackson, Brands doesn't overlook any of the controversial aspects of "Old Hickory" and his history. Who remembered that Jackson killed a man for disrespecting his wife, was fiercely protective of his honor, and adored veto...more
1. It is a 560 page single volume biography of a man who lived to be 78 years old. So the author can either write on average 7 pages per year of Jackson’s life or skip through many periods. Obviously the author chooses the latter as after ~100 pages Jackson is already ~30 years old and a Senator from Tennessee. So in trying to cram Jackson’s life into one volume, his childhood is almost completely left alone.
2. Jackson was ...more
General Jackson is the only early Presidents to be ranked with General Washington in the esteem of his country men. Mr. Brands shows this, and also the Generals firery temper. His love for his wife Rachel Jackson, their controversial marriage (which is still shrowded in mystery to this day) her death and the people he blamed.
Most interesting about Jackson are his contradictions, he favored states rights and then fought to preserve the union. He knew Indians on a personal level better than a ...more
Jackson was the first person to become president who was not born into Southern planter aristocracy or Northern Yankee g ...more
His life parallelled the American development from a new nation to one that was rapidly developing during his presidency and thereafter.
This book deals with the highs (military victories, political victories, a great ambition being matched by great accomplishment ...more
I've frequently called Jackson a mean old bastard for his policy and treatment of nativ ...more
Jackson, almost as much as Washington, changed and preserved the on-going process of democratizing America. Sure, he was a slave holder, disobeyed orders as a milita ...more
Ahhh! Old Hickory! Despite my knowledge before reading this book, I found some events quite interesting and insightful.
Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times is not usual cup of tea. I thought it would be boring and endless by its amount of pages. I prefer biographies around four hundred pages. Not six or seven hundred. Or somewhere around there. Long biographies usually 'talk' too much for my liking.
Unlike my thoughts, Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times was entertaining and amusing while also be ...more
“Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times” is H.W. Brands’s 2005 biography of our seventh president. Brands is a professor at the University of Texas at Austin and a prolific author. He has written nearly thirty books on a wide range of historical topics, including biographies of Ulysses Grant, Theodore Roosevelt and Aaron Burr. He is also the author of one of my favorite non-biography history books: “Lone Star Nation: The Epic Story of the Battle for Texas Inde ...more
Brands doesn't attempt to put a new face on the well-known figure of Jackson as stormy man of honor; the arguments, the invective, the duels, will be familiar to any one acquainted with Jackson's life. What Brands does is to paint the scene i ...more
I found this to be an excellent book, fairly objectively written, containing many quoted passages. There was enthusiasm displayed about Jackson by the author, Dr. Brands, that didn't get carried away into what might be deemed as hero worship. Not all that occurred in Jackson's life was what one would consider "correct" today, and he certainly wasn't concerned about being politically correct in his actions, which Dr. Brands brings out in his writting.
I am definitely glad that ...more
I received this book as a joke gift because of my own stupidity. I was doing the whole tour around Pensacola's historic landmark Ft. Pickens (I must say, tour guide Barbie would have been proud).
Friend- "Wasn't the fort built at the beginning of WWI?"
Me-"No, no the fort is much older than tha ...more
There is a great deal about him that is distasteful, especially from the view of today's morals. He was an unapolegetc slave owner and his treatment of the Native Americans was appalling. Still I found my self liking him despite these ...more
Received it as a Christmas present and devoured it. Andrew Jackson was not without faults, which I think Brands treats fairly, but his strength of character and conviction were admirable. It amazes me that a backwoods orphan could become president and this book takes the reader through every bump. Jackson's life was as impressive as it was tragic. A self-made man doesn ...more
Nevertheless, Jackson emerges from this biography as complex and controversial as ever.
If Washington can be likened to a monument inspiring awe and Lincoln to a log cabin – folksy, but sturdy – Jackson is a stone fortress: an unyielding defender of the Union, inspiring a rough kind of respect but not love.