Mike's Reviews > American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House

American Lion by Jon Meacham
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's review
Feb 05, 2009

really liked it
Read in April, 2015

Presidential biographies are not a pet interest of mine. I came to Andrew Jackson several years ago when I started writing my novel, *This Book Does Not Exist*, and included a quote of his at the beginning ("I was born for a storm, and a calm does not suit me."). I bought this book. I started it. I let it sit. Eventually, for reasons unbeknownst to me, I came back to it in February or March of this year; I can't remember. I was writing two movies at the time.

Reading this biography of Jackson's White House years, I learned that America was originally designed to be controlled by the elite - hence the electoral college - and it was Jackson who took a differing view on the importance of the will of the people. He was a force of nature, who survived an assassination attempt and had a bullet removed from him while he was in office (acquired during a pre-Presidential duel). He was also racist, supporting slavery and the removal of Native Americans. Perhaps most interesting, Jackson pushed the boundaries of veto power and executive orders unlike any other President before him. In this way, one could argue that he defined the modern Presidency.

Recommended if you yearn to understand why this dude is on the $20 bill.
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04/22/2015 marked as: read

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