Saturday, March 28, 2009

American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House

Executive. There seemed to be few dull moments during President Andrew Jackson’s White House years, and thanks to Jon Meacham’s fine writing in American Lion, there are few dull pages to read about that time. The hero of the Battle of New Orleans found all the main issues of the day ending up on his White House desk, and he followed a guiding principle of setting the issues of the nation first in resolving them, never losing the pulse of the will of the common citizen. He refused to cower to Congress, and ensured a strong Executive branch. He fought Calhoun and nullification. The strains of slavery and succession weighed heavily on Jackson, and he did the best he could to keep the union intact. The writing is lively throughout the 500 pages, and thanks to Meacham, every time I look at a twenty dollar bill I think something different about Jackson.

Rating: Four-star (Highly Recommended)
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