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 advisersthat 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 willor 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.
Jon Meacham in American Lion has delivered the definitive human portrait of a pivotal president who forever changed the American presidencyand America itself.
Andy Will Fight His Way in the World
Christmas 1828 should have been the happiest of seasons at the Hermitage, Jacksons plantation twelve miles outside Nashville. It was a week before the holiday, and Jackson had won the presidency of the United States the month before. How triumphant! Andrew Donelson said of the victory. How flattering to the cause of the people! Now the president- elects family and friends were to be on hand for a holiday of good food, liquor, and wineJackson was known to serve guests whiskey, champagne, claret, Madeira, port, and ginand, in this special year, a pageant of horses, guns, and martial glory.
On Wednesday, December 17, 1828, Jackson was sitting inside the house, answering congratulatory messages. As he worked, friends in town were planning a ball to honor their favorite son before he left for Washington. Led by a marshal, there would be a guard of soldiers on horseback to take Jackson into ...
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