American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House

Front Cover
Random House Publishing Group, Nov 11, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 512 pages
51 Reviews
The definitive biography of a larger-than-life president who defied norms, divided a nation, and changed Washington forever

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.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
10
4 stars
23
3 stars
15
2 stars
3
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - msaucier818 - LibraryThing

I came away disappointed with this book. I had read two other books by Meacham (biographies on Jefferson and H.W. Bush) and really enjoyed both. This book seem disjointed to me and spent far too much ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Scott_Hercher - LibraryThing

Solid biography of the first modern president. His criticism of Jackson's views on slavery seemed perfunctory at best, and had an obligatory feel about them. Meacham firmly took Jackson to task for ... Read full review

Contents

Follow Me and Ill Save You Yet
20
A Marriage a Defeat and a Victory
41
You Know Best My Dear
52
Ladies Wars Are Always Fierce and Hot
70
8
80
A Busybody Presbyterian Clergyman
86
Liberty and Union Now and Forever
124
General Jackson Rules by His Personal Popularity
135
We Are in the Midst of a Revolution
275
The EVENING OF HIS DAYS
281
The Wretched Victim of a Dreadful Delusion
298
Not One Would Have Ever Got Out Alive
315
Epilogue He Still Lives
355
Authors Note and Acknowledgments
363
Illustration Credits
463
363
483

He Appeared to Feel as a Father
261
The People Sir Are with
266

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Jon Meacham received the Pulitzer Prize for his 2008 biography of Andrew Jackson, American Lion. He is also the author of the New York Times bestsellers Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, American Gospel, and Franklin and Winston. Meacham, who teaches at Vanderbilt University and at The University of the South, is a fellow of the Society of American Historians. He lives in Nashville and in Sewanee with his wife and children.

Bibliographic information