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American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House (Hardcover)


Review
“What passes for political drama today pales in the reading of Jon Meacham’s vividly-told story of our seventh president. The rip-roaring two-fisted man of the people, duelist, passionate lover, gambler and war hero, was also a prime creator of the presidency as the fulcrum of executive power to defend democracy…Meacham argues that Jackson should be in the pantheon with Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln for this and for his role in preserving the Union and rescuing democracy from elitism. He makes the historian’s case with wit and scholarship but Meacham also has the novelist’s art of enthralling the general reader much as David McCullough did for the lesser figure of John Adams. Reading “American Lion” one is no longer able to look on the gaunt, craggy face on the $20 bill without hearing the tumult of America in the making.”
--Tina Brown


“Jon Meacham's splendid new book on Andrew Jackson shrewdly places presidential politics in the context of Jackson's family life -- and vice versa. With an abundance of gripping stories, and with admirable fairness, Meacham offers a fresh portrait of one of the most controversial and consequential men ever to occupy the White House.”
--Sean Wilentz, Princeton University, author of The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln


"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 and John Adams, so it was with Walter Isaacson and Benjamin Franklin, so it is with Jon Meacham and Andrew Jackson. A master storyteller, Meacham interweaves the lives of Jackson and the members of his inner circle to create a highly original book."
--Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln


“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


"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 very familiar. In helping us understand Jackson, Meacham helps us understand America."
--Walter Isaacson, author of Einstein: His Life and Universe and Benjamin Franklin: An American Life


"American Lion is 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 recreates 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


"An admiring, vividly composed portrait, full of colorful anecdotes and sentimental personal detail. Andrew Jackson's presidency remains controversial; but even those who, like myself, prefer John Quincy Adams's statesmanship to that of Old Hickory will find themselves engaged by Jon Meacham's skillful narrative."
--Daniel Walker Howe, author of What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for History 2008

By Sally Reed "a Texas Blue bonnet" (West Texas)
My Husband was right again!, November 11, 2008

I started this book with trepidation as I am not a big nonfiction reader, I love thrillers and mysteries, but my husband said I had to read this new Andrew Jackson book that he had some how wrangled an advance copy. I have to grudgingly admit that he was right, this book was as much a page turner as the recent Patterson. Even more so because this stuff actually happened! Also my enjoyment of the book was probably enhanced given the current political season. One of the things that struck me was how thier are so many who complain today about the rancor in politics, and what happened to bipartisanship? After reading this book I realize political discourse was a lot more wild in the past, much more wild than anything we could imagine today. There was a time when it was not uncommon for two political rivals to settle their differences with a duel.

This is the story of the life and times of the seventh President of the United States, Andrew Jackson. I have to admit I did not know much about the man prior to reading the book, but his life makes for a fascinating read. His life was an adventure full of drama. A real man of the people I found myself identifying with him in spite of his serious faults. This book made me see how his individualist outlook is still with us today and traces back in part to Jackson. Pull a twenty dollar bill out of your pocket and this is the man and his times "American Lion" is about. Hopefully, young people will read this book and get a better idea about the roots of our great country. So I have to give my husband credit for recommending my two favorite reads of 2008 Across the High Lonesomeand "American Lion."

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