American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House

American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House

Hardback

By (author) Jon Meacham

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  • Publisher: Random House Inc
  • Format: Hardback | 483 pages
  • Dimensions: 168mm x 239mm x 43mm | 816g
  • Publication date: 11 November 2008
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 1400063256
  • ISBN 13: 9781400063253
  • Edition statement: 2., Erw. Aufl.
  • Illustrations note: 2 16-PP B/W PHOTO INSERTS
  • Sales rank: 390,030

Product description

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.

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Author information

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.

Review quote

"Every so often a terrific biography comes along that shines a new light on a familiar figure in American history. So it was with David McCullough's John Adams, so it was with Walter Isaacson's Benjamin Franklin, so it is with Jon Meacham's Andrew Jackson. A master storyteller, Meacham interweaves the lives of Jackson and the members of his inner circle to create a highly original book that makes a critical contribution to our understanding of a fascinating presidency and a crucial period in our American life. And it is a beautifully written, absolutely riveting story from start to finish." -Doris Kearns Goodwin "A spellbinding, brilliant, and irresistible journey into the heart of Andrew Jackson and his unforgettable circle of friends and enemies. With narrative energy, flash, and devotion to larger issues that are truly Jacksonian, Jon Meacham reveals Old Hickory's complicated inner life and re-creates the excitement of living in Jackson's Washington. Most of all, Meacham's important book shows us how the old hero transformed both the American presidency and the nation he led." -Michael Beschloss, author of Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America 1789-1989 "Finally, a book that explains our nation's most enigmatic hero, a man who was revered and reviled and little understood. Jon Meacham brilliantly takes us inside the family circle that sustained Andrew Jackson's presidency and provided his steadiness of faith. It's a vivid, fascinating human drama, and Meacham shows how the personal was interwoven with the political. Jackson presided over the birth of modern politics, and this book's brew of patriotism and religion and populism tastes veryfamiliar. In helping us understand Jackson, Meacham helps us understand America." -Walter Isaacson, author of Einstein: His Life and Universe "In magnificent prose, enriched by the author's discovery of new research materials, Jon Meacham has written an engrossing and original study of the life of Andrew Jackson. He provides new insights into Jackson's emotional and intellectual character and personality, and describes life in the White House in a unique and compelling way. Scrupulously researched and vividly written, this book is certain to attract a large and diverse reading public." -Robert V. Remini, National Book Award-winning historian and biographer of Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, and Daniel Webster