Synopses & Reviews
Andrew Jackson, his intimate circle of friends, and his tumultuous times are at the heart of this remarkable book about the man who rose from nothing to create the modern presidency. Beloved and hated, venerated and reviled, Andrew Jackson was an orphan who fought his way to the pinnacle of power, bending the nation to his will in the cause of democracy. Jackson’s election in 1828 ushered in a new and lasting era in which the people, not distant elites, were the guiding force in American politics. Democracy made its stand in the Jackson years, and he gave voice to the hopes and the fears of a restless, changing nation facing challenging times at home and threats abroad. To tell the saga of Jackson’s presidency, acclaimed author Jon Meacham goes inside the Jackson White House. Drawing on newly discovered family letters and papers, he details the human drama–the family, the women, and the inner circle of advisers–that shaped Jackson’s private world through years of storm and victory.
One of our most significant yet dimly recalled presidents, Jackson was a battle-hardened warrior, the founder of the Democratic Party, and the architect of the presidency as we know it. His story is one of violence, sex, courage, and tragedy. With his powerful persona, his evident bravery, and his mystical connection to the people, Jackson moved the White House from the periphery of government to the center of national action, articulating a vision of change that challenged entrenched interests to heed the popular will–or face his formidable wrath. The greatest of the presidents who have followed Jackson in the White House–from Lincoln to Theodore Roosevelt to FDR to Truman–have found inspiration in his example, and virtue in his vision.
Jackson was the most contradictory of men. The architect of the removal of Indians from their native lands, he was warmly sentimental and risked everything to give more power to ordinary citizens. He was, in short, a lot like his country: alternately kind and vicious, brilliant and blind; and a man who fought a lifelong war to keep the republic safe–no matter what it took.
Jon Meacham in American Lion has delivered the definitive human portrait of a pivotal president who forever changed the American presidency–and America itself.
From the Hardcover edition.
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. 250,000 first printing.
About the Author
Jon Meacham is the editor of Newsweek and author of American Lion and the New York Times bestsellers Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship and American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation. He lives in New York City with his wife and children.
Table of Contents
The love of country, fame and honor: beginnings to late 1830 -- Andy will fight his way in the world -- Follow me and I'll save you yet -- A marriage, a defeat, and a victory -- You know best, my dear -- Ladies' wars are always fierce and hot -- A busybody Presbyterian clergyman -- My white and red children -- Major Eaton has spoken of resigning -- An opinion of the President alone -- Liberty and union, now and forever -- General Jackson rules by his personal popularity -- I will die with the Union: late 1830 to 1834 -- I have been left to sup alone -- A mean and scurvy piece of business -- Now let him enforce it -- The fury of a chained panther -- Hurra for the hickory tree! -- A dreadful crisis of excitement and violence -- The mad project of disunion -- We are threatened to have our throats cut -- Great is the stake placed in our hands -- My mind is made up -- He appeared to feel as a father -- The people, sir, are with me -- We are in the midst of a revolution -- The evening of his days: 1834 to the end -- So you want war -- A dark, lawless, and insatiable ambition! -- There is a rank due to the United States among nations -- The wretched victim of a dreadful delusion -- How would you like to be a slave? -- The strife about the next Presidency -- Not one would have ever got out alive -- I fear Emily will not recover -- The President will go out triumphantly -- The shock is great, and grief universal.