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American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White…
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American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House (edition 2008)

by Jon Meacham

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2,819614,194 (3.71)95
A thought-provoking study of Andrew Jackson chronicles the life and career of a self-made man who went on to become a military hero and seventh president of the United States, critically analyzing Jackson's seminal role during a turbulent era in history, the political crises and personal upheaval that surrounded him, and his legacy for the modern presidency.… (more)
Member:Alloc
Title:American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House
Authors:Jon Meacham
Info:Random House (2008), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 512 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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American Lion by Jon Meacham

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Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
Jackson was the first strong/modern president and became a model for Lincoln, Roosevelt, Truman and others. The Margaret Eaton "Petticoat Affair" was quite interesting. Washington has always been a vicious place. The "Trail of Tears" was probably Jackson's low point while his holding the Union together through the Nullification Crisis was his greatest accomplishment.
( )
  RandomWally | Jun 6, 2022 |
As boring as a pile of poop. The Eaton affair almost made me puke.

Stick to your weekly editor, Meacham. ( )
  Gadi_Cohen | Sep 22, 2021 |
This is a focused look at Jackson’s time as President and the author states that it is not meant to be an exhaustive scholarly work. I found that the somewhat casual tone worked most of the time although there were some spots that felt too gossipy for me. I was mostly unaware of how much he fought to hold the Union together in the 1830s and that part resonated with me for today. He was eloquent in his view that you change things through the great methods we have, you don’t just quit and leave the Union. ( )
  MarkMad | Jul 14, 2021 |
Rather than read another Trump tell-all book, I turned to another populist, Andrew Jackson. In Jon Meacham's telling he's more patrician than vulgarian. There's behind-the-curtain fluff driving the action here too, though, including his loyalty to John Eaton, his secretary of war, and Eaton's wife, who was a bit too frank and flirtatious for Washington in 1829. Jackson's distrust of central power seems equal parts conviction and political grudge, which makes his efforts to drain the swamp appear only somewhat more admirable than Trump's. And his convictions aren't always admirable; Old Hickory battled Native Americans in the War of 1812 and as president wanted them removed as a security threat. Yet he turned back Southern secession, earning the admiration of Lincoln and many presidents that followed. History, like its actors, is complicated.
  rynk | Jul 11, 2021 |
I enjoyed this book very much and Meacham's approach to the story. I'm surprised so many people criticized it for not being a traditional sequential analysis of his entire life but instead focused on those experiences and issues which the author determined to be most relevant and interesting. ( )
  hvector | Jul 10, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
“American Lion” is enormously entertaining, especially in the deft descriptions of Jackson’s personality and domestic life in his White House. But Meacham has missed an opportunity to reflect on the nature of American populism as personified by Jackson.
 
Mr. Meacham, the editor of Newsweek, dispenses with the usual view of Jackson as a Tennessee hothead and instead sees a cannily ambitious figure determined to reshape the power of the presidency during his time in office (1829 to 1837). Case by case, Mr. Meacham dissects Jackson’s battles and reinterprets them in a revealing new light.
 
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Epigraph
The darker the night the bolder the sun.
- Theodore Roosevelt,
Life Histories of African Game Animals

I was born for a storm and a calm does not suit me.
- Andrew Jackson
Dedication
To Mary, Maggie, and Sam
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It looked like war.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A thought-provoking study of Andrew Jackson chronicles the life and career of a self-made man who went on to become a military hero and seventh president of the United States, critically analyzing Jackson's seminal role during a turbulent era in history, the political crises and personal upheaval that surrounded him, and his legacy for the modern presidency.

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