Synopses & Reviews
The extraordinary story of Andrew Jackson—the colorful, dynamic, and forceful president who ushered in the Age of Democracy and set a still young America on its path to greatness—told by the bestselling author of The First American.
The most famous American of his time, Andrew Jackson is a seminal figure in American history. The first “common man” to rise to the presidency, Jackson embodied the spirit and the vision of the emerging American nation; the term “Jacksonian democracy” is embedded in our national lexicon.
With the sweep, passion, and attention to detail that made The First American a Pulitzer Prize finalist and a national bestseller, historian H.W. Brands shapes a historical narrative thats as fast-paced and compelling as the best fiction. He follows Andrew Jackson from his days as rebellious youth, risking execution to free the Carolinas of the British during the Revolutionary War, to his years as a young lawyer and congressman from the newly settled frontier state of Tennessee. As general of the Tennessee militia, he put down a massive Indian uprising in the South, securing the safety of American settlers, and his famous rout of the British at the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812 made him a national hero.
But it is Jacksons contributions as president, however, that won him a place in the pantheon of Americas greatest leaders. A man of the people, without formal education or the family lineage of the Founding Fathers, he sought as president to make the country a genuine democracy, governed by and for the people. Jackson, although respectful of states rights, devoted himself to the preservation of the Union, whose future in that age was still very much in question. When South Carolina, his home state, threatened to secede over the issue of slavery, Jackson promised to march down with 100,000 federal soldiers should it dare.
In the bestselling tradition of Founding Brothers and His Excellency by Joseph Ellis and of John Adams by David McCullough, Andrew Jackson is the first single-volume, full-length biography of Jackson in decades. This magisterial portrait of one of our greatest leaders promises to reshape our understanding of both the man and his era and is sure to be greeted with enthusiasm and acclaim.
"Sounding like a schoolteacher whiling away a snowy winter's day in his classroom by sharing a historic tale with his students, Montgomery reads Brands's life of the nation's seventh president with careful attention and understated smoothness. Beginning with Jackson's humble roots and Revolutionary War experience in the Carolinas, and taking him through his time in the White House, Brands's biography follows in the footsteps of other recent blockbuster biographies of the presidents. Montgomery's voice maintains a consistent tenor, only occasionally lapsing into clichd emoting, as he treks his way through the ridges and valleys of Jackson's career. With a faint twang underscoring his flat, uninflected tone, Montgomery's voice sometimes lacks the necessary aura of scholarly authority that would invest Brands's book with its full share of historical richness. Even so, Montgomery keeps listeners intrigued, never allowing the fidgets to set in and smoothly moving Jackson's life along without fuss or undue theatrics. A little more theatricality, though, might have made the entire endeavor a more rewarding experience for Montgomery's students. Simultaneous release with the Doubleday hardcover (Reviews, July 11). (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
H.W. BRANDS is a professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin. The author of Lone Star Nation and The Age of Gold, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Biography for The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin. He lives with his family in Austin, Texas.