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American Lion

de Jon Meacham

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
3,199644,171 (3.72)98
Biography & Autobiography. History. Politics. Nonfiction. HTML: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. Jacksons 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 Jacksons presidency, acclaimed author Jon Meacham goes inside the Jackson White House. Drawing on newly discovered family letters and papers, he details the human dramathe family, the women, and the inner circle of advisers that shaped Jacksons 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 Housefrom Lincoln to Theodore Roosevelt to FDR to Trumanhave 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 safeno matter what it took.
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» Mira també 98 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 67 (següent | mostra-les totes)
I liked the way it focused on his relationships and how they shaped his presidency ( )
  cspiwak | Mar 6, 2024 |
(2008)NF -Very good biography that concentrates on Jackson's 8 years in the White House and revealed to me that he was at least the 2nd most if not 1st most important president behind Lincoln. A man of many flaws and strenghths, he held this country together thru several crises that could have divided the Union.?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 democracyMeacham 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?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"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
  derailer | Jan 25, 2024 |
Informative and readable. I started to glaze over towards the last 75 pages or so but I'm glad I read it. More like 3.5 stars but that isn't an option. Lots of interesting things I didn't know about the seventh US President and what was going on during the 1820's and 30's.
Interesting to learn more about D. Trump's "favorite" President. Jackson was a populist and it's easy to see how Trump somehow patterned himself after Jackson though clearly deluded about the reality of himself and his presidency.
Not too long (about 365 pages without notes etc) timely and worth a look IMHO. ( )
  DonJuanLibrary | Mar 9, 2023 |
Let's be clear. On balance I liked the book and do recommend reading it. If I didn't I would have put it down before finishing. The book offers a broad panorama of heroes and knaves for much of the early period of American history. It was a gripping page turner.

Why only three stars? It was on the border of being a hagiography. Andrew Jackson was a flawed man and an imperfect president. Some of the black marks are well-known; his blind, unquestioning approval of Negro slavery and his mistreatment of Native Americans. While those who know me know that I am far from an unquestioning progressive, even in his era the dehumanization of downtrodden groups was already an issue. Andrew Jackson had no curiosity or interest. His mad crusade against the Bank of the United States was a large part of the cause of the Panic of 1837. His role rates barely a footnote. In addition, the chaotic management of his White House family rivals that of the current British royals.

The book well highlights Jackson's obvious and positive role in crafting a powerful presidency; one that, in short, led the country. While I give this book a "three", really borderline "four" this book is worth the read; Jackson's place on the currency is well earned. ( )
  JBGUSA | Jan 2, 2023 |
What a disappointing piece this was. American Lion takes everything wrong with armchair history as if to serve as a textbook example of what not to do. The writing style is captivating and well polished but so infatuated with the subject that the reader gets lost - what I suspect would be a trademark of Meacham as he is not trained as a historian but rather in English.
The chronology is confusing and chapters are spent on days and weeks while entire decades are summed up in a few paragraphs or pages. The reader is given no real sense of the timeline of Jacksons life, the impact that he had upon a broader America, or the actual changes and politics of his time. The story of the Eaton Affair, which rightfully deserves a large portion of the book, dominates along with the handful of scandals and issues of the Jackson presidency, but you get no sense of the true history of the period.
After reading this, you are left with a flashy sense of a few episodes in the life of Jackson, a hell of a lot of quotes from Jackson, his circle, contemporary and twentieth-century historians and commentators, but you get no real idea of what Meacham was adding to the conversation. So much of the book is quotes, I would be afraid of what would be left if we husked them out and left just Meacham. This is a perfect example of the poor history we get from biography and the problem with the popularity of the genre.
Masonry plays no role in the story, at any point. No mention is given to Jackson's Grand Mastership, and only a passage is spent on the Anti-Masonic crisis that gained traction just before Jackson's ascent to the Presidency. This would have made an interesting lens to understand the man, and given fertile grounds to understand the broader historical moment. ( )
  E_Morgan_Huhn | Oct 9, 2022 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 67 (següent | mostra-les totes)
“American Lion” is enormously entertaining, especially in the deft descriptions of Jackson’s personality and domestic life in his White House. But Meacham has missed an opportunity to reflect on the nature of American populism as personified by Jackson.
 
Mr. Meacham, the editor of Newsweek, dispenses with the usual view of Jackson as a Tennessee hothead and instead sees a cannily ambitious figure determined to reshape the power of the presidency during his time in office (1829 to 1837). Case by case, Mr. Meacham dissects Jackson’s battles and reinterprets them in a revealing new light.
 
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The darker the night the bolder the sun.
- Theodore Roosevelt,
Life Histories of African Game Animals

I was born for a storm and a calm does not suit me.
- Andrew Jackson
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To Mary, Maggie, and Sam
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It looked like war.
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Biography & Autobiography. History. Politics. Nonfiction. HTML: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. Jacksons 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 Jacksons presidency, acclaimed author Jon Meacham goes inside the Jackson White House. Drawing on newly discovered family letters and papers, he details the human dramathe family, the women, and the inner circle of advisers that shaped Jacksons 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 Housefrom Lincoln to Theodore Roosevelt to FDR to Trumanhave 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 safeno matter what it took.

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