Donny Hilgeman's Reviews > Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson by Annette Gordon-Reed
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's review
Jan 24, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: presidential-biographies, kindle
Read from January 24 to 28, 2011

I enjoyed this book. It was a quick read and from an author I highly respect - Annette Gordon-Reed (Hemingses of Monticello). I did end up with a sour taste for this President as I had with Andrew Jackson (a surprise for me, as I thought I would really like him. His treatment of the American Indians and "monarchial" style of Presidency disgusted me) and John Tyler(the only President who has ever committed treason against the United States- he joined the Confederacy against the United States) . While most of the early presidents had white supremacist views, some such as Jackson (with the American Indians) and Andrew Johnson seemed to go past what unfortunately was viewed "as acceptable white superiority" to make things even worse for those that had to bear the brunt of this type of hate. After Lincoln's assassination, Johnson brought the treasonous Southern States back into the fold, while Congress was out of session and watered down the requirements, removing black suffrage and other items that would allow the now freed men to support themselves and their families. Essentially bringing them under white control and as close as possible to the status quo when they were slaves. He fought tooth and nail to keep blacks from having the same rights as whites. It took virtually another century to give inalienable rights to these Americans.
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