Book Review: Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times by H.W. Brands

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Arti­cle first pub­lished as Book Review: Andrew Jack­son: His Life and Times by H.W. Brands on Blogcritics.

Andrew Jack­son: His Life and Times by H.W. Brands is a biog­ra­phy of the 7th Pres­i­dent of the United States. Cur­rently Pro­fes­sor Brands (@hwbrands) is tweet­ing the his­tory of Amer­i­can in haiku, very orig­i­nal, enter­tain­ing, edu­ca­tional and highly recommended.

I read this book as part of a goal to read, in order, all of the biogra­phies of the pres­i­dents of the United States who have passed away.

  • 656 pages
  • Pub­lisher: Anchor
  • Lan­guage: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400030722

Book Review Andrew Jackson His Life and Times by H.W. Brands

My rat­ing for Andrew Jack­son: His Life and Times — 5

Buy this book in paper or in elec­tronic format*

More Books by H. W. Brands

Andrew Jack­son: His Life and Times by H.W. Brands man­ages to con­vey just how com­plex Andrew Jack­son was as a per­son, hus­band, gen­eral and pres­i­dent.  The book brings to life its sub­ject by com­bin­ing his­tory and lit­er­ary meth­ods to make an inter­est­ing and fas­ci­nat­ing profile.

Even though many peo­ple have for­got­ten about Pres­i­dent Jack­son (even though he is much bet­ter known than other pres­i­dents) he had led a full and excit­ing life. Mr. Brands starts, where else, in the begin­ning being born into poverty, fight­ing the British in the Car­oli­nas, becom­ing a lawyer, Con­gress­man (R-TN), a mili­tia gen­eral and ulti­mately Pres­i­dent of these United States.

Mr. Brands does not skip over the uncom­fort­able past of this com­pli­cated man. Jack­son fought the Native Amer­i­cans sav­agely as he did the Eng­lish in New Orleans dur­ing the War of 1812. How­ever, Jackson’s fore­most bat­tles where in the court­room or as Chief Exec­u­tive and Mr. Brands does an excel­lent job explain­ing polit­i­cal con­cepts and intrigue in the con­text of the times. After all, Old Hick­ory was the first pres­i­dent who was not born an aris­to­crat nor was he a rich man as were the six pre­vi­ous men.

Even though this biog­ra­phy is quite hefty, Brands com­bines action, intrigue and an all-American rags to riches story. The book packs a mas­sive amount of research, writ­ten in an easy to digest and fluid format

Andrew Jack­son was born in north­ern South Car­olina and at the age of 13 was already a mem­ber of the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Army and a pris­oner of the British. After secur­ing his release, his mother left him an orphan at the age of 14, but Jack­son thrived and became a lawyer through appren­tice­ships. By 1788 Jack­son became the solic­i­tor for Nashville, a fron­tier town.

Jack­son was a brawler, gam­bler and kept duel­ing with pis­tols well into mid­dle age, he also traded slave, spec­u­lated on land and horses as well as being a mer­chant. Thriv­ing in his new state of Ten­nessee, Jack­son was soon elected head of the mili­tia with the rank of major gen­eral. Despite hav­ing a lit­tle mil­i­tary expe­ri­ence, Jack­son proved to be a capa­ble com­man­der and a ruth­less yet resource­ful Indian fighter. After smash­ing British defenses at the Bat­tle of New Orleans, Jack­son became a great Amer­i­can mil­i­tary hero, rivaled only by Wash­ing­ton which led him to the pres­i­dency in 1828.

Buy this book in paper or in elec­tronic format*

More Books by H. W. Brands

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I bought this book.
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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