Andrew jackson presidential biography series
Jun 13, Tim rated it liked it. I was wondering if read a book called Jacksonland by Steve Inskeep of NPR and if you have, what you thought of the book?
August 7, at There was much to admire and much to lament, of course. He correctly saw that to try to end slavery would lead to disunion or bloody civil war.
The Best Biographies of Andrew Jackson
We can see with hindsight that it was worth it, but perhaps it was not so obvious at the time. He was probably unfair to his critics, seeing nothing but political attacks in the calls to end slavery, although it is true that his some of his critics used this line of attack against him simply as a weapon, not because they really cared about the issue.
Not exactly what we think of when we remember FDR. Anyway, your characterization of Remini is not fair or accurate. He also, however, balances that with the good, unlike the general tendency of our times.
September 10, at 6: March 9, at 3: March 13, at 7: I have to admit it looks interesting. If you do give it a try, let me know what you think! You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email.
Sean Wilentz, one of America's leading historians of the nineteenth century, recounts the fiery career of this larger-than-life figure, a man whose high ideals were matched in equal measure by his failures and moral blind spots, a man who is remembered for the accomplishments of his eight years in office and for the bitter enemies he made.
It was in Jackson's time that the great conflicts of American politics—urban versus rural, federal versus state, free versus slave—crystallized, and Jackson was not shy about taking a vigorous stand. It was under Jackson that modern American politics began, and his legacy continues to inform our debates to the present day. Being a short, moderately analytical biography of Old Hickory, emphasizing, as the series title might suggest, his presidency.
Wilentz's opening chapter is a brilliant exposition of the approach The work also traces his advancement through military daring and leadership and also his sometimes careless behavior that created problems for his troops.
In short, a nicely nuanced and realistic view of one of the most important of American presidents. Mar 12, Brett rated it liked it Shelves: By design, these books are short and general, which can be good for a reader that is interested in learning the outlines of a presidency, but also means that they were limited in the depth in which they can explore their subjects. Wilentz is a well-known liberal and I was interested to hear his views on Jackson, a president that has seen his level of admiration drop This is the second of the American Presidents series which I've read the first was George McGovern writing about Abraham Lincoln.
Wilentz is a well-known liberal and I was interested to hear his views on Jackson, a president that has seen his level of admiration drop ever lower over the years. Wilentz seems to go out of his way not to be too critical, however. There is a heavy emphasis on psychological explanations for Jackson's behavior, and Jackson is repeatedly framed as a poor boy who both wants to be accepted into genteel society but also is constantly feeling rejected and desiring to strike back at aristocratic figures.
There is scant treatment of Jackson's abominable treatment of native peoples. We do get more extended looks at a proto sex scandal involving one of Jackson's cabinet members, the political battle over the Bank of the United States, and Jackson's fight with would-be nullifiers.
Wilentz is a good writer, and it is hardly his fault that he didn't have room to expand on his subject given the limitations of this book series. Still, if a person is going to go to the trouble of reading an entire biography on a president, I can't help but feel like you might as well seek out one that gives the fullest possible picture. This series of books, as well as this specific one, are always going to be a little short on details and historical context.
They are a sort of Wikipedia of presidential biographies. Nov 07, Robin Friedman rated it it was amazing. I am reposting this review and revisiting the American presidents near the end of the current presidential contest. The Presidential race is in full swing, and interest in the contest runs high. In order to keep my own bearings, I wanted to try to take a short but broader view of our Presidents and our nation's history. One way to do this is by reading some of the volumes in the recent "American Presidents" series edited by the late Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
Each volume in this series offers, in short compass, the life and accomplishments of an American president together with an evaluation of his achievement. I chose Sean Wilentz' biography of Andrew Jackson -- because of our seventh President's role in broadening the basis of American democracy and because of the controversy he inspired and continues to inspire. Jackson was a flamboyant, larger-than-life figure with great virtues and as many faults.
He was orphaned at an early age and bore for life the physical and emotional scars inflicted upon him by a sword gash to the head by a British officer during the Revolutionary War.
Jackson fought off poverty and his own impulsive nature to serve an early term in Congress and in the Senate before the 19th century. He became a lawyer, a judge and a large plantation owner of the Hermitage in Tennessee. He became famous as an Indian fighter in wars against the Southeast Tribes such as the Creeks and Cherokees and against the Florida Seminoles. Jackson won a great victory against the British at the Battle of New Orleans inthe War of was officially over at the time which secured his fame.
Jackson ran for President in but, following a close election, he was denied the presidency in the House of Representatives as a result of what he claimed was a "corrupt bargain" between John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay. InJackson defeated Adams, inaugurating what he and many American people believed was a new age for American democracy. Wilentz describes the themes of Jackson's presidency as including: Thus, the issues Jackson faced cannot be transferred directly to our current situation with the label of "liberal" or "conservative".
Jackson was an enemy of big government. But in Jackson's time, this position made him a foe to the power of wealthy and powerful people and businesses who had a close relationship to the government and who, Jackson, believed, were gaining too much privilege at the expense of the people.
Thus, a major activity of Jackson's presidency was his destruction of the Second Bank of the United States, a private bank which had been chartered by Congress and which exercised strong power over the American economy.
Jackson thought that American government up to his time had been the province of the leisured and elite. His avowed goal was to make the government responsive to the will of the majority and to expand the basis of democracy. He did so, in part, and at a terrible cost. Jackson's democracy was formed by a coalition between Southern planters and northerners.
American Presidency Series
This coalition inevitably led to compromises with slavery and to sectional tension. Jackson censored the mails to prevent anti-slavery tracts from flooding the South and opposed attempts to curtail slavery.
In his younger days, Jackson had been a cruel Indian fighter, and in his Presidency he set in motion the removal of the Southeastern Tribes across the Mississippi over what became known as the "Trail of Tears. Jackson was a strong, even autocratic, executive. Perhaps his finest hour was in defusing, with a mixture of strength, compromise, and cunning, the "nullification controversy" resulting from South Carolina's attempt to set aside a Federal tariff with which it disagreed. Jackson was also an expansionist president who foresaw the acquisition of Texas and the West even though no new territory was added to the United States during his two terms.
Wilentz praises Jackson for his democratic vision and for his early version of egalitarianism even while he recognizes that, in its treatment of Indians, African Americans, and women it was quite different from our own ideals. Wilentz is favorably disposed towards Jackson's economic policies, including his war on the Bank. Many historians have different, less favorable views of Jackson. Those readers wanting an in-depth view of the period might want to compare two lengthy studies: The Transformation of America, ", which takes a less favorable view of Jackson and a more positive view of his predecessor in the presidency, John Quincy Adams, and of Jackson's opponents, the Whigs.
Those readers wanting to reflect upon the history of our country and on where it may be going during this election year will enjoy reading this short study of Andrew Jackson and its companions in the American Presidents series.
Mar 05, Zach Koenig rated it it was amazing. The American Presidents series turns in another interesting, well-written installment! President 7 as both man and political figure are touched on, including: You truly don't have to be a Presidential expert to enjoy this book, as it perfectly walks that fine line between thorough, easy explanation and information pertinent enough to actually learn about Jackson and his time period.
After reading, it makes me want to continue on my journey through the Presidents! Dec 28, Louise rated it it was amazing Shelves: Democrats hail him as a founder.
After reading this book, and attempting a few others, it's still hard to understand why Jackson has been accorded such respect. I started both the Brand and Remini bios. Through them I came to understand his childhood and how the American Revolution shaped his character and views.
The psychological toll of losing his nuclear family at a young age had to be enormous.
His mother's heroic search and rescue of him in a very abusive British POW camp illustrates the love and family loyalty he lost. Wilentz cleary states the complicated facts of Jackson's war on the bank. To Jackson it was a war on the aristrocracy. It is not within the scope of Wilentz's book to editorialize, but were Biddle and his cronies really controling the US economy? Could the land issues have been settled with Lincolnesque homestead acts, which undoubtedly would have been very popular? Could he have fought for legislative mini-changes Clintonesque to curb certain powers, such as bidding out government banking needs.
Jackson and Biddle were clearly obstinate equals, but as Pres, it would seem that there were other paths to take leadership on this since he deemed it important. Did it really save the "little guy" in the short or long run? In his tooth and nail fight on nullification, Jackson may have been as instrumental as Lincoln in holding the union together. Jackson's stand against nullification not only solidified the sentiment for his day, but also built precedent for future times. This and stopping the British in New Orleans, may be worthy of his stature among historians, Democrats and currency commemoration but, they don't explain the genesis of the phrase "Jacksonian Democracy".
From admittedly limited knowledge, I still don't see enough to assign this man's name as an adjective to democracy. The author alludes to the changing of executive staff and to a future unfolding of more direct elections of public officials. I assume, in the nature of things, appointment prerogative would have evolved, but where is the chapter on how AJ worked on behalf of more direct election? Are not the Trail of Tears and his actions on behalf of those supporting slavery anti-democratic endeavors?
I still don't see how the war on the bank, which admittedly has "little guy" overtones, balances all this out. May 26, Tony rated it really liked it Shelves: Schlesinger, each presidential review must be written at two-hundred pages or less; this including a timeline, notes, bibliography, and index.
For a controversial president like Jackson, who also served two terms, this is daunting.
In contrast to his strong stand against South Carolina, Andrew Jackson took no action after Georgia claimed millions of acres of land that had been guaranteed to the Cherokee Indians under federal law, and he declined to enforce a U. Supreme Court ruling that Georgia had no authority over Native American tribal lands.
Inthe Cherokees signed a treaty giving up their land in exchange for territory west of Arkansaswhere in some 15, would head on foot along the so-called Trail of Tears. The relocation resulted in the deaths of thousands. After leaving office, Jackson retired to the Hermitage, where he died in June Start your free trial today.
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